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27 Rivers lawmakers can meet anywhere outside assembly complex -APC

The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has made a significant statement regarding the functioning of the embattled 27 members of the House of Assembly, who recently defected to the APC. The statement was made during a visit by the state caretaker committee to the APC national headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.informationguidenigeria

The APC’s position is that these lawmakers do not require the now-demolished House of Assembly complex or any physical structure to perform their legislative duties. This stance comes in the wake of the defection of the 27 lawmakers, who were loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, and the subsequent declaration of their seats as vacant by a faction of the House of Assembly loyal to the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

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Chief Tony Okocha, the Chairman of the Rivers APC committee and an ally of Minister Wike, addressed the media during the visit. He emphasized that as long as the mace, a symbol of legislative authority, is present, the majority of legislators can convene and deliberate in any location. This assertion underscores the belief that legislative functions are not strictly bound to a physical space but can be carried out as long as the legal and procedural requirements are met.informationguidenigeria

Okocha also defended the defection of the House of Assembly members, stating that their action was not an aberration. This defense is significant given the political and legal implications of such defections.

Meanwhile, the National Working Committee of the PDP has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections to replace the defected lawmakers.

He said, “The House of Assembly can be moved to anywhere. It is not necessarily down to a building. Provided the mace is present there, members can sit anywhere. As of this morning, the 27 lawmakers met and even signed some resolutions.

“Even when the building was burnt, the governor never bothered to set up a panel or committee to investigate. Apparently, we know he was the mastermind.JAMB Portal

“Yesterday (Wednesday), the government brought it down to prove fait accompli to the members who defected. But we as a party have said we will fight illegalities and not allow anybody to hound any lawmaker.

“We are here to tell the world that we stand with the lawmakers. What they did is not an aberration. Defection is not new. In 2014, the PDP was run aground and the members left in droves to the opposing party.

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“The PDP in Rivers has imploded and we are benefiting from the reward. We are telling the governor he cannot thrive on illegalities. I have given instruction to the legal adviser to petition the NJC to report the judge for delivering that ‘Jankara’ judgment.”

When asked if the lawmakers actually planned to impeach Governor Sim Fubara before the demolition of the legislative quarters took place, Okocha dodged the question but insisted that impeachment is equally an element of the democratic process.JAMB Portal

The Rivers APC caretaker committee chair also maintained that there are provisions in the constitution that explain why any member can leave a party.

“I will be reluctant to answer that (attempt to impeach Fubara) because I am not a member of the House of Assembly. Again, impeachment is typical of a democratic process. The much I know is that we haven’t got to that stage. It is just the crude manner the government adopted we will fight. There are provisions in the constitution, which provide reasons people can leave a party. Are you not aware that it was their indiscretion that led to members leaving?NYSC Portal

“But having four members who sat is an error and illegal. We as a political party will fight all illegalities by the governor. I have wooed Wike publicly before when we were doing Renewed Hope to come to Macedonia and help us.

“In 2023, because he refused to work with the PDP presidential candidate, APC won. Yesterday, I reiterated our plea for him to come and he will become the leader of the party. But what is happening in Rivers is that Fubara has left governance completely and beginning to chase shadows,” he said.

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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