Rivers Crisis witnessed a clash between two factions as both conducted parallel sittings and passed bills. A group of 27 lawmakers, who had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), held a separate session, contesting the declaration of their seats as vacant. Approximately 25 legislators, led by Martin Amaewhule, convened at the auditorium of the House of Assembly Quarters on Aba Road, Port Harcourt, passing bills and condemning the demolition of the Assembly by Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

    Rivers Crisis

    On the same day, the Speaker Edison Ehie-led State Government-recognized G-4 House, whose membership had increased to five, swiftly passed the Rivers State N800.3 billion 2024 budget that Governor Fubara presented a day earlier. Meanwhile, amid the political turmoil, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adango, SAN, resigned on personal principles, joined by three other commissioners.

    Rivers House Of Assembly1

    During their sitting, the Amaewhule-led House passed the Rivers State House of Assembly Funds Management (Financial Autonomy) Bill, 2023. The Speaker emphasized that this legislation would govern the management of funds allocated to the Rivers State House of Assembly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state, ensuring accountability and efficient utilization of funds.

    The House also approved the Rivers State Local Government Law, No. 5 of 2018 (Amendment) Bill, 2023 following an extensive debate on the Report of the House Committee on Local Government presented by the Committee’s Chairman, Mr. Ignatius Onwuka.

    Speaker Amaewhule highlighted that the passage of the amended Bill would afford elected Local Government Area chairmen and councilors protection against arbitrary removals and suspensions.

    In response to the demolished Assembly building, the legislators, through a motion, transformed the Auditorium of the House of Assembly Quarters into their chamber. They denounced the demolition as heartless, asserting that the state governor took action without the approval and knowledge of the House.

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    In a motion sponsored by 26 members and moved by Mr. Ofiks Kabang, representing Andoni Constituency, the House brought attention to Governor Fubara’s alleged constant attacks on the Legislature of Rivers State. Amaewhule expressed that the House would communicate with the United Nations and governments of other well-known democracies about the governor’s actions, emphasizing their determination to fulfill their constitutional duties despite any harassment or intimidation.

    We carefully examined the budget, lawmakers

    Meanwhile, the state House of Assembly emphasized that thorough scrutiny was conducted before granting approval for the 2024 budget.

    The leader of the House, Mr. Adolphus Orubienimigha, stated during the presentation of the budget to Governor Fubara for assent that members meticulously deliberated on each item, carefully considered the proposed projects, and urged the governor to remain steadfast in fulfilling his official duties.

    Rivers House of Assembly demolition2

    Speaker Ehie highlighted that the budget figures and outlined items were aligned with current realities, showcasing Governor Fubara’s commitment to enhancing infrastructure and bolstering sectors such as education, health, youth empowerment, and the economy to deliver optimal services.

    Ehie assured that the legislature would continue to offer unwavering support to Governor Fubara, contributing the necessary assistance for the success of the administration.

    Fubara enacts a bill for appropriations.

    Governor Fubara expressed his elation as he signed the appropriation bill into law at the Government House in Port Harcourt. He announced that the budget, named “Budget of Renewed Hope, Consolidation, and Continuity,” would pave the way for significant critical road projects connecting various communities across multiple local governments in the state.

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    Governor Fubara stated, “This budget shows that we have a plan for our dear state.” He highlighted the intention to initiate the Trans-Kalabari road project phase 2 in the coming year and underscored the commitment to the Elele-Omoku road project, which traverses Ikwerre, Emohua, and Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Areas.

    Assuring full implementation of the planned quality projects and services outlined in the 2024 appropriation, Fubara pledged an unwavering effort to make a positive impact on the lives of all residents. He emphasized the administration’s dedication to visible and tangible development at the community level.

    Governor Fubara acknowledged the legislative arm’s support and praised their resilience in overcoming challenges. He assured the people that the government is responsive, inclusive, and committed to the welfare of all residents, irrespective of their position or class. Fubara concluded by expressing gratitude to God for guiding the lawmakers through their challenges.

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