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They Are Gone! Fubara Insists Pro-Wike Legislators Won’t Return

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Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, on Wednesday, reaffirmed that the seats of the 24 members of the state House of Assembly, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Peoples Congress, remained vacant.

Speaking during a solidarity visit from constituents in Port Harcourt, Governor Fubara emphasised that despite a recent court order, the lawmakers who aligned with the former governor Nyesom Wike’s faction are effectively out of office.

The Martin Amaewhule-led lawmakers were initially ordered by a Federal High Court in Rivers State to cease identifying themselves as members of the state assembly.

However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja overturned this ruling last Wednesday, dismissing the lower court’s decision.

The appellate court’s three-member panel, headed by Jimi Olukayode-Bada, delivered the judgement.

Following this reversal, the faction of the assembly led by Victor Oko-Jumbo and aligned with Governor Fubara’s administration announced its intention to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision to the Supreme Court.

The governor said, “They think that we are still sleeping but let me tell you people so that they will hear wherever they are. I sincerely wanted to help them and I have said this before.

“These are people that I have helped. I paid their children’s school fees, I paid their house rent. My father was already a Shell officer from 2005 when I started working in finance.

“Before I started working here, I was even a Shell manager, so I wasn’t a beggar, I had enough that I could eat and extend to people. I wanted to help them. We all know what happened when they crossed and they crossed because of our God so that they can make that mistake. They are gone and they are gone.”

However, he expressed disappointment over the defection of the legislators to the APC, asserting that they had crossed a line that cost them their positions.

The governor referenced the December 2023 declaration of their seats as vacant by Edison Ehie, who now serves as his Chief of Staff.

He reaffirmed that the legal processes and subsequent reinstatement attempts had not changed the administration’s position.

Fubara also disclosed that despite calls from the Martin Amaewhule-led Assembly for the resubmission of the 2024 budget, his focus is on preparing the 2025 budget, which he plans to present soon.

He said, “As I am talking to you, I have started preparing my budget for 2025 which I am going to present very soon.”

He assured the delegation that the upcoming budget would prioritise sectors such as education, healthcare, and agriculture, aligning with the needs expressed by the visiting community members.

Furthermore, the governor addressed ongoing efforts to resolve herders-farmers clashes in Etche and Omuma Local Government Areas, emphasising collaboration with law enforcement agencies to ensure peace and enhance productivity in the region.

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