Home Politics Rivers crisis, threat to Nigeria’s democracy – Bode George

Rivers crisis, threat to Nigeria’s democracy – Bode George

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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, called upon elders and stakeholders of the party to intervene in the political crisis unfolding in Rivers State.

He said this was necessary because if the state is set on fire, “that may end this democracy”.

Speaking on Friday, he cautioned that if left unaddressed, the situation could escalate into a national disaster.

He also warned President Bola Tinubu, urging him not to underestimate the threat posed by certain lawmakers in the state House of Assembly who are seeking to impeach Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

George emphasised that Rivers State belongs to the PDP.

He stressed that it is crucial for everyone to acknowledge the gravity of the situation and not to remain indifferent or pretend that all is well.

He said, “Rivers people belong to the PDP. Those threatening to impeach the governor are being remote-controlled by some forces. This must stop because if Rivers is set on fire today, that may end this democracy.

“We should remember ‘Operation Wetie’ which started in the defunct Western Region and eventually consumed the nation and ended the First Republic in 1966.

“All the actors in this crisis in Rivers should avoid actions likely to cause a breach of peace and breakdown of law and order in our country”.

He emphasised that the Members of the Board of Trustees of the party should step up as the elders in the room, taking swift action to resolve the crisis before it spirals out of control and affects everyone involved.

“All the gladiators should also think of the collective interests of Nigerians.

“Whether we are members of PDP, APC or other parties, we should stop issuing provocative statements to increase the tension in Rivers.

“Any move that can truncate this democracy must be stopped immediately. Enough is enough”, he stated.

The rift between Fubara and his political father, Nyesome Wike, now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, began last year when the Assembly, predominantly comprising Wike’s loyalists, attempted to impeach the governor.

On 11 December 2023, 27 lawmakers, who are supporters of former governor Wike defected from the PDP to the APC.

Despite initial efforts to reconcile, including a peace agreement facilitated by President Bola Tinubu, tensions reignited as the two factions clashed over the terms of the peace pact.

On Monday, Fubara dismissed the Assembly as an illegal body that did not exist.

On Tuesday, the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman in the state, Okocha, stated that the governor did not have the authority to declare the lawmakers as illegal.

On Thursday, the APC declared that Fubara’s “egregious actions” serve as grounds for his impeachment.

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