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Rivers Plans Parallel Secretariats As Police Bar Fubara Caretaker Chairmen



Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has said 23 local government councils in the state will operate from alternative secretariats following Tuesday’s sealing of the councils by the police.

The governor, who said this after swearing in the 23 local government caretaker committee chairmen on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the state capital, said they could operate from anywhere.

Fubara stated this as the police barred the newly inaugurated caretaker chairmen from from accessing their offices in all the 23 LG headquarters. The secretariats were barricaded with police patrol vans manned by armed policemen.


The state police command had on Tuesday announced that it had taken over all the LG council headquarters to forestall further bloodshed and to prevent a breakdown of law and order.”

A policeman and a member of a local security outfit were killed during a clash between supporters of the governor and his predecessor, the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike at Eberi-Omuma in the Omuma Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.

Fubara and his predecessor have been embroiled in a bitter disagreement since late last year.

READ ALSO: Fubara Orders Audit Of LGAs Accounts In Rivers


The crisis led to the bombing of the state House of Assembly last year, factionalised the House while the governor survived an impeachment by Martin Amaewhule led 27 lawmakers of the House loyal to the FCT minister.

The crisis worsened on Tuesday when youths loyal to the governor dislodged some chairmen loyal to Wike after the expiration of their tenure.

The three-year tenure of the 23 chairmen expired on Monday but they had vowed to remain in office, citing the Local Government Amendment Law 2024 made by the Martin Amaewhule-led House of Assembly.

The law by the 27 lawmakers loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Wike, empowers them to remain in office for six months due to the failure of Fubara to conduct local government elections.


Caretaker chairmen

The governor after swearing in the newly appointed caretaker committee chairmen in the Government House on Wednesday, charged them to eschew violence, maintain the peace, and be guided by the Constitution.

Fubara also directed the Auditor-General of Local Governments to commence an immediate audit of the accounts of the 23 councils, adding the new appointees could operate from anywhere.

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: Fubara Nominates Caretaker Chairmen For 23 LGs


He said that the swearing-in of the chairmen would ensure seamless administration of local governments following the expiration of the tenure of elected chairmen and councillors in the state.

He warned them against any form of confrontation, insisting that such was not in his nature and style but advised them to be law-abiding as they take full control of the local government councils.

He said, “Whatever happened yesterday (Tuesday), I know and the world knows that it is not from you people. Some people caused it. So, let us not allow them to continue to make our state look bad in the comity of states.

“So, when you go back, if there is any situation, you should be law-abiding. I don’t want any confrontation. You can operate from anywhere for now. But the most important thing is that you have the control of the local governments today.”


Fubara defends appointments

Defending the appointment of the caretaker chairmen, he stated, “What is happening here now is a defence of democracy. We will not allow the wrong precedent to be created in this country.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Fubara Swears In Caretaker Chairmen For 23 LGs

“It is not about Rivers State. It is not about Fubara. But if in any way this attempt at tenure elongation succeeds in Rivers State, it becomes a norm in Nigeria.


“So, we have taken it upon ourselves to say, not on our watch will it happen because it is completely alien to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Fubara wondered why the tenure of elected officers would expire, and they would want to perpetuate themselves in office against their oath of office and the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria.

The governor said such insistence to elongate the tenure of council chairmen would not happen in the state.

He pointed to the importance of knowing how the finances of the 23 Local Government Councils were managed in the last three years and directed the Auditor-General of Local Governments to begin auditing the accounts and make the report available within the next month.


He urged the new chairmen to ensure payment of the outstanding financial benefits and entitlements, including salaries of the immediate past chairmen, vice-chairmen and councillors.

READ ALSO: Fubara Cancels Wike’s 10,000 Jobs, Promises Fresh Recruitment

He added, “I am not of the class to say that because something happened, you should maltreat them. No. Whatever is their entitlements, ensure that they get them.”

Fubara instructed the caretaker chairmen to work hard to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in their various council areas.


He added, “Please, I want to appeal to you that when you go back, I don’t want a crisis. Just manage the situation as much as you can. God does not start and end halfway. That is the truth. Since God has started with us, He will complete His work in our lives.

“I don’t want any fight. I don’t want any life to be lost because it does not earn me anything. We know that we can overcome, and we have been overcoming.”

Reiterating that the caretaker chairmen would soon leave office, he said, “Let me also sound very clear here that your tenures are not going to be too long because as a matter of fact before the end of today or tomorrow, there should be a process for the commencement of elective local government chairmen in our dear state.”

READ ALSO: Wike Should Remain In Abuja, Leave Fubara, Rivers Alone – Clark


Earlier on Wednesday, the Victor Oko-Jumbo-led State House of Assembly loyal to the governor had during plenary screened and confirmed the nominees,

The list of seven-member nominees per local government council was forwarded to the Assembly under Section 9 (5) of the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018, for screening and confirmation.

Secretariats shut

One of The PUNCH correspondents who went round the state reported that the LG secretariats of Port Harcourt City, Obio/Akpor, Ogu/Bolo and Ikwerre and other council headquarters across the state were under lock and key with police patrol vans stationed and fierce-looking operatives.


The caretaker Chairman of the Ikwerre LGA, Dr Darlington Orji, said he was not able to access the council following the barricade mounted by the police. He, however, said he had assumed duties and could control the council affairs from anywhere.

Orji stated, “The police have taken over the place. When the police have taken over the place, what do you expect me to do?”

When asked if had started work, he responded in the affirmative.

Also, the caretaker Chairman of the Ogu/Bolo LGA, Evans Bipi, who could not access the secretariat, inaugurated other committee members outside the council secretariat and charged them to serve with diligence and honesty.


He said although the council was shut, he had assumed duties.

It was correspondents observed on Wednesday that the Federal High Court along Azikiwe Road and the State Judiciary complex housing the State High Court were locked, although no reason was been given, but it might be due the tension in the state.

Speakingnon the development, the state Commissioner for Police, Olatunji Disu, said the LG council headquarters would remain shut for the time being due to the clash between the feuding parties.

Disu stated, “It is because two groups are fighting over something. Two groups are fighting over it. The other group is waiting to tackle them. We have to prevent them from clashing and killing one another like they did yesterday (Tuesday) and killed a policeman and one other person.


“So we have to prevent them from going in. We have locked up the local government secretariats. If we allow them (caretaker chairmen) to go in, other people will come out and clash. Then people will ask what are we doing as police officers?

“We are here to prevent a breakdown of law and to protect lives and property. So we know definitely if there is a clash, anything can happen. So we are doing our jobs of protection of lives and property.”

On why local government workers were not allowed into their offices, he said, “For the time being nobody should come in. If we allow local government workers to come in, others will sneak in. So it will still boil down to the same thing. How do we sit and those who are not workers sneak in?

“So it is better we lock up the place and ensure that there is peace. And that is exactly what we are doing.”



Ex-Rep Rejects Membership Of Edo APC Gov Campaign Council



A former Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase, has declined his membership of the National Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress for the Edo State governorship election.

Iriase, whose name was included in the list released on Friday, said he was not consulted before he was included in the team and that he has since stepped aside from politics.

In a statement on Friday, Iriase wished the APC a successful campaign and a peaceful election and urged everyone to respect his desire to be excluded from the council.


READ ALSO: Esan-born Lady Seeks Okpebholo’s Support To Replace Amputated Limb

The statement reads, “My attention has been drawn to the fact that my name is included in the list of appointees into the National Campaign Council for the governorship election in Edo State by the All Progressives Congress.

“I appreciate the National Working Committee for finding me worthy of the appointment. But, I hereby reject the appointment for the following reasons:

“I was never consulted. I have for several years stepped away from partisan politics, and I do not intend to change my mind.


“I do not want my associates, friends, admirers, and family to see me as a hypocrite.

“While wishing APC a successful campaign and a peaceful election, I strongly urge everyone to respect my desire to be excluded from partisan politics.”

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FULL LIST: 20 States With Local Government Caretaker Committees



Photo credit: Nation

Most states have resorted to governing the local governments through caretaker committees set up by the State Government.

This is contrary to Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees the system of local government by democratically elected officials.

Caretaker committees have become a prevalent practice in different states across the federation, and are fast replacing local government councils.


Factors fingered for the inability of many States to conduct council polls include insecurity, paucity of funds as well as political and legal battles.

Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court declaring that it is unconstitutional for Governors to hold funds allocated for local government administrations further raised the question of how LG helmsmen are routinely sacked from office and replaced with Caretaker Committees.

These are the states running local governments with caretaker committees as complied by The Nation:

READ ALSO: BREAKING States Lose As Supreme Court Rules On LG Financial Autonomy


1. Rivers – Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara appointed caretaker committees for the 23 local government areas as he continues his battle with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, for the control of the political structure in the oil-rich state.

2. Jigawa – On June 28, 2024, the government of Jigawa State dissolved the elected council chairmen of the 27 local governments.

3. Anambra – On June 20, 2024, Governor Charles Soludo, through the House of Assembly, confirmed the appointment of transition committee chairmen and councillors for the 21 local government areas.

4. Zamfara – In Zamfara, the last grassroots poll was held on April 27, 2019, and the State returned to appointees after the chairmen’s tenures expired. In May 2024, the Assembly approved a six-month extension for the caretaker committee.


5. In Benue, however, elections are scheduled to be held on July 6, 2024, for LG council chairmen.

6. Bauchi – Last year, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, sworn in 20 appointed local government area caretaker committee chairmen with their deputies.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Supreme Court Bars Govs From Sacking LG Chairmen

7. Plateau – June 2023, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau inaugurated the Interim Transition Committee chairpersons for its 17 local government areas at Government House Jos.


8. Abia – In December 2023, Abia Governor Alex Otti, inaugurated the 17 local government transition council chairpersons.

9. Enugu – In March 2024, Enugu State Government ordered local government chairmen in the 17 councils to hand over administration to heads of personnel management after the expiration of their tenures.

10. Katsina

11. Kano – In March 2024, Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State recommended names of Interim Management Committee members for Local Government Areas of the state to its House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.


12. Sokoto

13. Yobe – In April 2024, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, approved the dissolution of all the 17 local government councils of the state, and also directed all local government chairmen to handover the affairs of their respective local governments to Directors of Personnel Management.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Supreme Court Bars FG From Paying Allocations To LGs With Unelected Officials

14. Ondo – Ondo State Government also constituted Caretaker Committees for the 18 Local Councils and 33 Local Council Development Areas, (LCDA).


15. Osun – In February 2024, Osun Assembly extended the tenure of office and re-appointed caretaker committees of 30 Local Government Areas and 39 others running Modakeke Area Office and Local Council Development Areas in the state.

The extension was subsequently secured for the caretaker chairmen, vice chairmen, scribes and their members’ fresh six months tenure, beginning in February and ending in August 2024.

16. Delta

17. Akwa-Ibom – Governor Umo Eno last year through a letter with reference number GHU/AKS/S/104/VOL.1/607, addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Udeme Otong, informed the House of Assembly that there was no provision in the 2023 budget for the conduct of local government elections.


He urged the Assembly to pass a resolution authorising him to set up interim administration at the 31 local government areas at the expiration of the tenure of the elected council officials.

19. In Imo State, the last council poll was conducted on August 25, 2018, which was the first in seven years.

20. In Kwara State, the last council election was in November 2017 with caretaker committees in charge since 2020.

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Edo Guber: Trouble Looms As APC Gives SSG, Ogie, Ultimatum To Resign Or…



The Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has issued an ultimatum to Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie to resign his position.

INFO DAILY reports that Ogie was nominated as running mate to Asue Ighodalo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the September 21st some months ago yet has remained in office.

A statement issued by the state Chairman of the party, Jarrett Tenebe, though did not mention days of the ultimatum, however argued that “his stay in office is also a violation of the public service rules which prohibit a public servant from using public resources to fund private purpose.”


READ ALSO: CAC To Cancel Certificates Of BDCs With Revoked Licences

Tenebe, who frowned at the continued stay of Ogie in office, described the action as “unacceptable and an affront to the good people of Edo State.”

As an unelected public officer, Mr Ogie is hereby given an ultimatum to resign forthwith as his continuing stay in office is a clear violation of all known rules of decency and ethics,” he said.

Tenebe, while threatening to take “serious civil and criminal actions against Ogie,” added: “By remaining in office, while posing as running mate in the gubernatorial election, Mr. Ogie is also in violation of the public service rules which prohibit a public servant from using public resources to fund private purpose. “


READ ALSO: BREAKING: Supreme Court Bars Govs From Sacking LG Chairmen

He alleged that, “Ogie is currently earning salary and other official benefits as Secretary to the State Government, even while pursuing a private ambition to become deputy governor.

“He’s using official vehicles and other government logistics to service his electioneering campaign. This is totally unacceptable and a waste of taxpayers’ money. This is the very definition of corruption.

“No unelected public servant should be allowed to do this. It’s patently wrong and a de-service to the state and the long suffering people of Edo State.”


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