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Intervene in Rivers crisis now, Peterside tells Tinubu

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and former Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the crisis rocking the state.

Peterside lamented that the state was gradually “sliding into total anarchy,” as he said the peace and development of the state had been sacrificed for selfish political gains which don’t favour the citizens of the state.

The APC chieftain disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement obtained by PUNCH Online.

He harped on the defection of some 27 lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC and the demolition of the State House of Assembly, saying such events display a “mockery of democracy.”

The statement read in parts, “I have watched with shock, disgust, and disbelief the ongoing ugly descent into anarchy of governance and public affairs and the naked display of anti-democratic and anti-people actions by some political actors in Rivers State.

“From the reported defection of 27 supposed members of Rivers State House of Assembly to the demolition of the permanent site of the Assembly complex for renovation, there is no better phrase to describe what my Rivers State has become other than a shameful state of anomie. We see there a ranked display of mockery of democracy and mindless destruction of everything democracy by the same people who should be defending it.

“It is sad that in the past few weeks, the peace, stability, and development of the state have been sacrificed on the altar of selfish political agenda, ego, and narrow interests of a few.”

Peterside noted that the aim of the political actors in the state is solely to control the state to the detriment of the people.

 

He equally described the situation of the state as one on a “knife-edge.”

 

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“It is clear from these political actors’ utterances and body language that the only goal dictating their actions is controlling the soul of Rivers State to the detriment of the state’s people. The people and their interests have been relegated to the background, whilst political jobbers hold the state on a knife-edge.

 

“Many of our past patriotic leaders sacrificed a lot to build a peaceful, united, and prosperous Rivers State, which these handful of political actors seek to destroy. Rivers people would resist this brigandage, and I urge them to do so urgently. Posterity is going to judge all of us,” the statement read.

 

The ex-NIMASA DG urged President Bola Tinubu, who, as a statesman, can’t “afford to fold his hands and watch the destruction of the state and institutions of democracy,” adding that “at this point, as a leader and stakeholder in the affairs of Rivers State who has personally invested a lot in the development of our dear state, I call on the President and Commander-in-Chief to intervene and save Rivers from going up in flames. Mr. President should note that Rivers State is gradually sliding into total anarchy.”

 

He urged Tinubu to put the interest of the state and her citizens above “every other consideration.”

 

“I appeal to all genuine elders and well-meaning youths of the state to oppose the politics of destruction and personality cults. We should be in favour of politics of good governance and inclusive development,” Peterside said.

 

 

PUNCH Online reported that the State House of Assembly on Wednesday was demolished as the facility was unfit for legislation following a fire in October according to the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Joseph Johnson.

 

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, also presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill to five members of the state House of Assembly loyal to him.

 

The presentation took place at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital, a few minutes after the demolition of the House of Assembly Complex.

 

The 27 members of the House loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, were not present at the sitting

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