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Tension As Pro-Fubara, Wike Lawmakers Hold Parallel Sittings

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Tension is currently mounting in Rivers State as the two factions of the State House of Assembly are locked up in parallel sittings this morning.

Lawmakers were already arriving at the House of Assembly Quarters amidst heavy security presence as this report was filed.

While Speaker, Martin Amaewhule was seen walking into the chamber, the Victor Oko-Jumbo section will also sit to screen a commissioner nominee. Oko-Jumbo will be presiding over the other House sitting.

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On Sunday night, the Oko-Jumbo-led House loyal to the State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara had in a letter by the Clerk, Dr G. M Gillis-West, invited a new commissioner-nominee, Emmanuel Frank-Fubara, to appear before it on Monday for screening and confirmation as a member box the State Executive Council.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Pro-Fubara Lawmakers To Screen New Commissioner-nominee Monday

While the pro-Fubara lawmakers hold their sitting in an improvised Hallowed Chamber in the Government House, Port Harcourt, the pro-Wike legislators sit at the State Assembly official quarters along Aba Road, also in the metropolis.

It is unclear what the Amaewhule-led lawmakers will deliberate on, although it will be their first sitting since the Court of Appeal judgement recognised the pro-Wike lawmakers as members of the House.

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Their sittings follow the bombing of the State House of Assembly Complex located along Moscow Road, Port Harcourt in October 2023.

There was also an attempt by the 27 lawmakers loyal to the FCT Minister to impeach Fubara.

READ ALSO: Why Hired Youths Tried To Bomb P’Harcourt Hotel — Fubara

The pro-Wike lawmakers later during plenary announced their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress as the political crisis in the state deepened following the feud between Fubara and Wike.

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The crisis soon landed the 27 lawmakers in court, as they battle to save their status.

Former Rivers Lawmakers Meet With Fubara, Call For Peace
On Saturday, members of the National Assembly from Rivers State urged the political leaders in the state to uphold the rule of law and prioritize peace over personal interests.

The ex-lawmakers, who served in both the Senate and the House of Representatives at different times including the 3rd Republic, appealed during a media briefing after meeting with Governor Siminalayi Fubara in Port Harcourt.

READ ALSO:’PDP Failed Rivers State – Fubara Laments

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A former House of Representatives member for Khana/Gokana, Bernard Mikko read the group’s communique.

He also rejected calls for a state of emergency and the attempt to disrespect the constitutional terms of elected council chairmen.

“Regardless of our political affiliations, we stand united in our unwavering belief and conviction that the unity, peace, and progress of Rivers State are paramount and non-negotiable,” Mikko stated.

“We reaffirm our absolute commitment to the rule of law, a cornerstone of democracy that ensures no one, including the government, is above the law. We uphold this fundamental principle, which safeguards justice, equality, and accountability for all.”

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Reinstated Shaibu Appoints Aides, Edo Govt Kicks

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The reinstated Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu and the state government have disagreed over the appointment of some political aides by the former.

Recall that Shaibu was on Wednesday reinstated by the a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja after being impeached by the Edo State House of Assembly on March 8, 2024.

Following his reinstatement by the court, Shaibu reinstated some of his former political aides.

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Some of the reinstated political aides are: Kingsley Ehigiamusor, Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Governor; Musa Ebomhiana, Chief Press Secretary; Hon. Emmanuel Akhaba, Senior Special Assistant; Charles Olubayo, Senior Special Assistant.

READ ALSO: APC Condems Shooting At Benin Airport, Urges IGP To Probe Alleged Assassination Attempt On Okpebholo

Others are: Mustapha Lawal-Omokpo, Senior Special Assistant; Matthias Akhanemhe, Special Assistant; Comrade Robinson Akhenoba, Special Assistant; Robert Ojele, Special Assistant, and Isioma Ogochuwku, Special Assistant.

A statement signed Musa Ebomhiana, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, said all the appointments are with immediate effect.

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Speaking more on the appointments, Shaibu said they are not fresh appointment but that the aides were reinstated to their former positions in line with the court judgment that reinstated him.

Shaibu assured that more appointments would be made in no distant time.

Reacting to the development, the Edo State Government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, described the appointments as fake.

READ ALSO: APC Condems Shooting At Benin Airport, Urges IGP To Probe Alleged Assassination Attempt On Okpebholo

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He said, “The Edo State Government has observed that some unsigned statements are circulating on social media purporting to appoint certain persons as aides in the Office of the Deputy Governor.

“The fake document should be disregarded as it is part of the provocative actions by the impeached Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, to foment crisis in the State.

“It is clear that the impeached deputy governor is hell-bent on creating a sense of chaos in the state but the Edo State Government is resolved to put his antics in check and ensure that the state continues to run smoothly.

“We restate that Omobayo Marvellous Godwins remains the Deputy Governor of Edo State and the public is enjoined to disregard the shenanigans orchestrated by Shaibu.”

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JUST IN: I’m An Unofficial APC Member, Says Shaibu

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The reinstated Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philips Shaibu, on Friday, said he was already an unofficial member of the All Progressives Congress.?

He said the only thing still keeping him in the Peoples Democratic Party was because he was yet to officially dump the ruling party in Edo.

Reacting to questions on why he was supporting the APC governorship candidate in Edo when he featured on Arise TV’s morning show on Friday, the deputy governor maintained that his spirit had left the PDP.

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READ ALSO: APC Condems Shooting At Benin Airport, Urges IGP To Probe Alleged Assassination Attempt On Okpebholo

“In PDP now, everybody can support whoever they like. On the issue of supporting a candidate, the constitution guarantees that you can support who you like and you can belong to any political party,” Shaibu said.

He added, “As of now, I’m a PDP man and I will not support anybody while I am in another party contrary to who I am supporting. For now, I am a member of PDP but going forward, I am good as being a member of APC; I can tell you that.”

When interjected that he (Shaibu) seems to have one leg in APC and one in PDP, he countered the claim, saying, “No, two legs in APC.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: FG To Introduce New Curriculum For Secondary Schools

“The only thing that is keeping me in PDP is that I have not officially declared. Talking more seriously, I am actually a member of APC, but on official. My spirit has left PDP for a long time, it is only my leg and body that are still there because my PDP party card is still with me and I have not picked an APC party card yet. But in terms of spirit, my spirit has left PDP and is now in APC.”

He also alleged that since the political crisis in the state started, he had called his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, 111 times without the governor picking up his calls or returning them.

“I had made up my mind not to call him again, but I always send him texts. Before now, when I started counting, I called him (Obaseki) 111 times during that crisis, but he never picked up. I sent him texts, and he never replied, but it never really mattered. The last text I sent to him was on his birthday,” Shaibu said.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Supreme Court Orders Immediate Direct Payment Of LG Allocations

Shaibu was impeached by the State House of Assembly on April 8, 2024.

However, he was reinstated on Wednesday after Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Abuja High Court ruled that he was unjustly impeached.

Meanwhile, a police officer identified as Okon, attached to the APC candidate in the September 21 governorship election, Monday Okpebholo, was killed after mobs attacked his convoy and that of Shaibu, in Benin on Thursday after leaving the Benin Airport.

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Shaibu and Okpebholo arrived at the Benin Airport around 2 pm to the rousing welcome of supporters.

 

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APC Condems Shooting At Benin Airport, Urges IGP To Probe Alleged Assassination Attempt On Okpebholo

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The Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on President Bola Tinubu to direct the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the State Security Services to probe yesterday’s shooting at Benin Airport exit gate and the alleged assassination attempt on its governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo.

A statement signed by Comrade Orobosa Omo-Ojo, Director of Publicity, APC Edo Governorship Campaign Council, the party insisted that yesterday’s “unwarranted shooting and assassination attempt on Okpebholo” must be thoroughly investigated and the culprits be punished in accordance with the law.

“…IGP Kayode Egbetokun, and the State Security Service to probe this assassination attempt and bring the culprits to book and also rein in state sponsored criminals who have brazenly made the political landscape unsafe,” he added.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Heavy Gunshots Erupt At Benin Airport As Shaibu Arrives

Omo-Ojo, in the statement made available to INFO DAILY on Friday noted that “anything short of this, is capable of encouraging self help in the state, especially as we enter the crucial campaign season.”

The Director, who said the “assassination attempt on Okpebholo represents glaring failure by the Police,” also described the incident as “the greatest security breach and failure.”

He added: “The attempted assassination of Senator Okpebholo, the APC gubernatorial candidate represents a glaring failure by the Police, which left a serving senator exposed to gunfire in a breach of security that caused fatality.”

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He continued: “The vantage point the assasins who were in a marked Sienna Bus opposite the exit gate managed to acquire, is the greatest security breach and failure, especially as the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Funsho Adegboye, and other top officers were at the airport to ensure peace.”

READ ALSO: Three Nigerians sentenced To 235 Years In US Prison

Omo-Ojo, while regretting the killing of a Police Inspector in the gunfire, condemned the act and urged every well meaning Nigerians to do so.

“Those that committed the murder of Inspector Ako and attempted to assassinate Senator Okpebholo are the hired criminals who were identified by security agents present at the scene as representatives of the opposition party.

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“This unprovoked horrific act of political violence against a peaceful Nigerian Senator should have no place in Edo State.

“It should be unanimously and forcefully condemned by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the good people of Edo State.

“After a careful reflection, the APC regrets the killing of a serving police officer, who was murdered in cold blood while carrying out his official assignment.

“The party is also appalled by the pains caused by injuries sustained by hundreds of our members during the unexpected attack,” he added.

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