Pro-Wike Lawmakers’ Seats Declared Vacant, Fubara Refuses to Present Budget


Pro-Wike Lawmakers’ Seats Declared Vacant, Fubara Refuses to Present Budget

Rivers State Governor, Fubara

Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara announced on Wednesday that his administration has begun preparations for the 2025 budget. He dismissed the Martin Amaewhule-led faction’s demand to re-present the 2024 budget, stating that their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) rendered their seats vacant.


Fubara made this statement during a visit from leaders and stakeholders of Etche and Omuma Local Government Areas, organized by Ogbakor Etche, the apex socio-cultural organization of the Etche ethnic group, at the Government House in Port Harcourt.


According to a statement by Nelson Chukwudi, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Fubara described the demands of the Amaewhule faction as “noise-making from delusional folks.” He urged the “25 former lawmakers” to accept their new status, emphasizing that the state’s governance was proceeding smoothly.


The pro-Wike lawmakers, aligned with former governor and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike, have been in conflict with Fubara over political control in the state. After their failed attempt to unseat the governor and the subsequent demolition of the Assembly quarters, they defected to the APC, leading the state PDP to declare their seats vacant.


A Rivers State High Court granted an interim injunction preventing the pro-Wike lawmakers from acting as legislators. However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja reinstated the 25 lawmakers on July 4. Despite this, the lawmakers, meeting at the state Legislative Quarters, demanded that Fubara re-present the 2024 budget, giving him a one-week deadline.


Fubara responded by initiating legal action to prevent the state Chief Judge and others from recognizing the Amaewhule-led Assembly and appealed the Court of Appeal’s decision to the Supreme Court. He stated that his administration is now focused on the 2025 budget, prioritizing education, healthcare, and agriculture.


He assured the people of Rivers State that the 2025 budget would address key areas, particularly agriculture. “We have already started preparing the 2025 budget, which will focus on education, healthcare, and agriculture,” Fubara said.


The governor criticized the defected lawmakers, noting their past support from him. “They thought they were smart. Their seats were declared vacant on December 13, 2023, and we are not revising the budget to reverse that decision. We are focused on our 2025 budget.”


Fubara emphasized the importance of quality public education, healthcare, and agricultural development to tackle unemployment and ensure the state’s security. He reiterated his commitment to stand by the truth and govern effectively without compromising his principles.


During the meeting, Eze Emmanuel Opurum, Oyeisi Etche, pledged the support of Etche and Omuma people for Fubara’s administration. Charles Nwonuala, President-General of Ogbakor Etche Worldwide, also affirmed their confidence in Fubara’s leadership.


Meanwhile, the PDP cautioned the Amaewhule faction against actions that could disrupt state governance and urged the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to uphold peace and security. PDP National Publicity Secretary Debo Ologunagba reiterated that, according to the Constitution, the defected lawmakers no longer hold their seats.


The PDP called on Rivers residents to remain vigilant, adhere to the law, and work together to maintain stability and ensure the delivery of democratic benefits.


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