Rivers Elders And Opinion Leaders Visit House Of Assembly Quarters, Condemn Governor Fubara’s Demolition Scheme

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In a candid display of having the interest of the State at heart, and worried by the unfortunate political developments in the State, a delegation of prominent elders and opinion leaders in Rivers State, on Sunday, visited the Rivers State House of Assembly Quarters for a firsthand assessment of the state of things.

The delegation, which included the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Kingsley Ogundu Chinda, Hon. Kelechi Worgu, former Chairman of PDP in the State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon.Ikunyi Ibani, Caretaker Chairman of APC in the State, Hon. Tony Okocha, and former Senator representing Rivers South-East, Sen. Olaka Nwogu, expressed their deep worries over the recent events surrounding the planned demolition of the State legislative quarters by Governor Siminialayi Fubara.

Speaking during the visit, Rt. Hon. Kingsley Chinda hailed the construction of the House of Assembly Quarters, stating that it can stand the test of time and has a lifespan of over 25 years. He, however, advised the State Governor, Siminialayi Fubara, to “whittle down the exuberance” and govern in accordance with the provisions of the law, adding that no individual is bigger than the State.

Also speaking, former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikunyi Ibani echoed the sentiment that the legislature is an arm of government that should be defended. He noted that the House of Assembly Quarters was built with taxpayers’ money and urged the Governor not to demolish it.

On his part, the former Senator who represented Rivers South East in the Senate, Sen. Olaka Nwogu, described the recent demolition of the House of Assembly complex as the “greatest assault on our democracy,” stressing that the building does not make the parliament, but the honourable Members, who can sit anywhere to carry out their duties.

Responding to the various comments, the Speaker of the 10th Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Chike Amaewhule, commended the elders for their visit and concern. He stated that the House of Assembly Quarters is one of the best legislative quarters in West Africa and was built by the immediate Governor, His Excellency, Nyesom Wike, barely two years ago.

Rt. Hon. Amaewhule reiterated that the House of Assembly did not write to the Governor or invite him to do anything, and that any attempt to demolish the building without their consent is an assault on democracy. He stressed that the Rivers State government is made up of the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary; therefore, the Governor cannot in a commando fashion break into the House of Assembly Quarters without an invitation, maintaining that honourable Members of the House will continue to follow due process in the conduct of its affairs no matter the degree of provocation.

The visit by the elders and opinion leaders of Rivers State to the House of Assembly Quarters underscores the importance of preserving the sanctity of democratic institutions and the need for harmonious coexistence among the three arms of government.


Martins Wachukwu

S. A. Media Aide To The Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly

May 12, 2024.

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