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Fresh crisis looms in Rivers as Fubara replaces 23 LGA chair

Two LGA Chairmen in the state have declared their intent to step down in accordance with the State’s Local Government Law of 2018.

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi (Sim) Fubara. [Twitter:@SimFubaraKSC]

This announcement was made by Governor Fubara in a state broadcast on Tuesday morning.

He explained that the move aligns with constitutional provisions and is necessary to maintain peace and order in the state.

However, two LGA Chairmen in the state have declared their intent to step down in accordance with the State’s Local Government Law of 2018.

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The officials are Dame Anengi Barasua Claude-Wilcox, the first female council chairman of Bonny LGA, and Enyiada Cookeygam of Opobo/Nkoro, Governor Fubara’s LGA, Channels TV reported.

Claude-Wilcox and Enyiada Cookeygam of Opobo/Nkoro had previously contested the extension of local government chairmen’s terms in court, a move initiated by the Martin Amaewhule-led assembly.

Speaking to Channels Television after a government house event on Monday, the former council chairmen advised other local government area chairmen to adhere to the law and leave office peacefully.

Meanwhile, Akuku-Toru and Asari-Toru Local Government Council Chairmen Rowland Sekibo and Onengiyeofori George called for a peaceful resolution regarding extending their terms.

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On Monday, protesters blocked council headquarters, demanding the chairmen step down as their terms were set to end on June 18, 2024.

Despite the State Assembly’s approval of their term extensions, Sekibo and George urged their supporters to remain calm and avoid violence, noting that the issue is currently being addressed in court.

“Everyone should exercise restraint, no matter the provocation. The matter is already in court.

“Those who want to be caretaker chairmen, just endure; those who want to be council chairmen, just endure. We are already at the Court of Appeal. It won’t take long again for judgment. Whichever way the case goes, it will go to the Supreme Court,” Sekibo appealed.

They called on law enforcement officers to maintain peace and order, emphasising that no single group or individual holds exclusive rights to use violence.

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