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Rivers Conundrum: Opobo Elder Statesmen Condemn President’s Meddling, Say It Lacks Principles Of Democracy

The contentious agreement brokered by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has continued to trigger opposition from multiple fronts, with the Opobo Elder Statesmen4Sim rejecting the purported accord in its entirety.

Their denouncement stems from what they assert as a lack of legal grounding within the agreement, and the heated debate over its legitimacy.

Rising from an emergency meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Friday, the group issued a communiqué, voicing several compelling reasons for their outright rejection of the purported agreement.

Foremost among their contentions is the argument that President Tinubu, within the constitutional framework, lacked the authority to meddle in the internal affairs of a state.

In the communiqué that was jointly signed by the Chairman, BoP of the group, Alabo Reuben Mietamuno Saturday-Jaja, PhD, Soide Jaja II, and Chairman, Alabo Adonye E. Cockeye Brown as well as members of the Executive Council, the elders emphasized that President Tinubu’s role primarily involves overseeing federal appointees and does not extend to dictating terms to a governor.

Pointing to constitutional limitations, the elders insisted that the President’s agreement cannot supersede court rulings, particularly those relating to legal proceedings such as impeachment or legislative matters.

They challenged even the directive to withdraw court cases, highlighting the constitutional provision that mandates vacant seats for legislators who decamped without adhering to party division or merger protocols.

Moreover, the Opobo elders insisted that only members of the Edison Ehie-led House of Assembly should be acknowledged as authentic representatives, delegitimizing the positions of decamped legislators led by Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule.

The Opobo Elder Statesmen4Sim contested the necessity of seeking approval from the FCT Minister, Chief (Barr) Nyesom Wike for reappointing commissioners and stressed the importance of local government autonomy, asserting that interference from higher authorities infringes upon elected officials’ rights to administer local affairs.

In a resolute conclusion, the elders said they unequivocally rejected the purported agreement, vowing to fervently challenge any attempts to implement its contents within Rivers State.

Their stance underscored a firm commitment to upholding constitutional provisions and safeguarding the autonomy of state governance against external interference.

“We call on Mr. President to retract this purported agreement, as its execution risks plunging the State into a constitutional crisis.

“Should this request go unheeded, we are prepared to contest its constitutionality in a court of law as a necessary measure.”, the elders declared.

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