Nationwide Coordinator of South-South Elders Discussion board and pioneer spokesman for the Pan Niger Delta Discussion board, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, shares his ideas with DENNIS NAKU on the political disaster in Rivers State
What is your view concerning the explosion that rocked the Rivers State Home of Meeting?
Nicely, Rivers State leaders, together with me, completely and vehemently condemn that explosion that destroyed the state Home of Meeting, notably the hallowed chambers the place the legislators sit to make legal guidelines. So, it’s fairly unlucky and never what we anticipated for that facility constructed with taxpayers’ cash. This isn’t the time to waste cash as a result of we’ve plenty of issues to do with cash.
There have been arguments in help of and towards the failed try to impeach Governor Siminalayi Fubara over some undisclosed points. What are you able to say about this?
In each scenario, you’ll get for and towards, however the reality stays that no matter has occurred just isn’t within the curiosity of Rivers State. What occurred is within the curiosity of some folks. Rivers State is a really massive state with many individuals. When you take a look at the political gladiators too, they’re many. So, when this type of factor occurs, those that really feel they wish to profit from it would at all times help it. Whereas those that are usually taking a look at Rivers State as their state will probably be against it.
The try to impeach the governor has divided the state Home of Meeting. You’re an elder statesman, what would have triggered the momentary breakdown of legislation and order within the state Meeting?
What occurred was a mutiny. And because it was a mutiny, you’ll anticipate one thing like this. The previous governor, Nyesom Wike, will say there isn’t any coup in a democracy, no. It’s not appropriate. Whether or not you carry a gun or not, if you happen to don’t comply with due course of and also you wish to forcefully take away anyone, it’s a coup. Sadly, the coup failed, and we aren’t pleased with the best way Wike orchestrated the entire of this coup and in addition to place Rivers State in a foul gentle. Immediately, we will see that in all places in Rivers State has been disorganised, and the federal government has been disorganised. The governor needs peace, in any other case the federal government can transfer forward however they’ve succeeded in disorganising this state.
Some have stated that the previous governor, now Minister of the FCT is behind the present political upheavals within the state. What’s your tackle this?
He has overtly stated he’s a part of it, he didn’t deny it. And he stated it was not a coup; and that it was an impeachment course of.
However Wike supported Governor Fubara to occupy the present place; subsequently, some anticipated that the previous governor must also have a say within the authorities. What’s your tackle this?
The previous governor is the one ruling the state via Fubara as a 3rd time period and when he made the governor and made him unable to perform, the governor resisted, why? That’s the place their hassle began. So, he stated impeach him. He has a plan; he has a plan within the sense that he was pondering after they impeach him, the Deputy Governor, Dr Ngozi Odu will turn out to be governor and the present speaker will turn out to be the deputy governor. And sooner or later, they will even impeach Dr Odu and make the previous speaker to be the governor of Rivers State.
There are reviews that President Bola Tinubu intervened within the matter. How efficient do you suppose this intervention within the state political disaster will probably be?
The governor just isn’t speaking a lot. However Wike has been speaking, he is not going to settle for Tinubu’s directives and they’re going to go forward. No matter he began, he was going to finish. So, he’s very boastful. However the Bible says the proud, God will shame, and the common-or-garden, God will exalt.
Are you saying that the FCT Minister is not going to obey the phrases of the President?
That’s what he (Wike) stated. It’s within the media; he has not denied it.
Some elders have additionally intervened within the matter, and there seems to be calm now. What do you suppose will be executed to forestall a recurrence of the ugly incident that led to the burning of the Home of Meeting?
The so-called elders are what we name Peoples Democratic Celebration elders who’re loyal to Wike. I don’t see something good coming from them as a result of they don’t have the curiosity of the state at coronary heart. All they want is to place the governor ready the place they’ll strangulate him and suck him dry. Suck the state via him as a conduit pipe in order that every single day, they’re smiling dwelling. They don’t have any good intention for resolving the case in any other case, they can’t simply see Wike and put all of the blame on the governor, that the governor was mistaken. How was he mistaken? He’s in the home, they usually wish to impeach him, and he went there to cease it. Is that why he’s mistaken? Or he cries out and asks why they’re impeaching him as a result of he (the governor) didn’t commit any crime. Is that why he’s mistaken?
So, why are they blaming him? Allow them to give you the explanation why they really feel they need to impeach him. There should be a cogent cause why they wish to impeach him. Rivers folks wish to know what the explanations are. What are the issues that they’re querying him or blaming him for? They’re saying he has gone to see the enemy. So, if right now, they wish to sack anyone and also you all gang up towards him, will he not ask for assist from outdoors? So, that’s what’s going on. He has requested for assist from outdoors and God has intervened. He isn’t the one combating, up until now, he isn’t prepared to combat, however God is combating his course.
The FCT minister and the governor met in Abuja on Tuesday and exchanged pleasantries. Do you suppose the worst is over and all people, together with members of the Meeting, has gone again to the established order?
I don’t suppose so. I don’t know. I’ve neither spoken to Wike nor have I spoken to Sim (Fubara). However the reality is that all the things that glitters just isn’t gold. If Wike is honest, his utterances after the assembly are very clear info that he’s nonetheless eager about impeaching the governor. So, the governor ought to simply not say something in order that he will probably be arm-twisting him and accumulate all the things from him within the title of godfather. However he (Wike) didn’t settle for any individual as godfather.
Kids are in the home hungry; you’re throwing a celebration outdoors. Are you a great father? Now, anyone has come, and also you don’t need him to work. The person (governor) wished to go and work on Songhai (Farm). The subsequent factor is, ‘Oh, he didn’t take directions for you’. Why would he do this? Governance is a continuum, and you can not waste authorities property. The folks need employment, folks need enterprise, and so, what’s your downside with the person making an attempt to generate issues for the state? So, what the so-called elders of the PDP and the minister need is to strangulate him.
What will probably be your recommendation to Governor Fubara realizing that the try to impeach him appears to have failed?
My recommendation to Governor Fubara is for him to take cost of his authorities and purge the system since you can’t deliver your enemies to information you as a result of at some point, you’ll stand up and your head will probably be off. You can not enable anyone to be your CSO; you can not enable anyone to be your Chief of Employees. You can not enable anyone to nominate your Chief (Safety) Element, your safety aides, or the command of your Authorities Home Police patrol. So, plenty of issues have to be modified. Even from the native authorities, he should change the system and pay money for the native authorities; he should be in command of the native authorities, and he should be in command of the state.
Even the state exco ought to be dissolved. He (Fubara) should be capable of get people who find themselves loyal inside your celebration to turn out to be what they wish to be, however not this set of people who find themselves already there and taking directions someplace. It’s extra harmful. They’ll take directions someplace and perform a mutiny towards you and something can occur.
What message will you ship to the FCT Minister on the momentary disaster that engulfed the state?
My recommendation to former governor Wike is to permit the boy to rule. Let the boy do his work. They need to not strangulate him. They need to not arm-twist him. No one is interfering along with his job in Abuja. So, allow them to not intrude within the governance of the state. Rivers State will maintain the boy accountable for what he has executed, not what they wish to do. They need to please enable him. Let him face Abuja. He can’t discuss of Abuja and right here (Rivers). One factor is that he ought to be very cautious as a result of even father and son. Saraki and his father, all of us noticed what occurred. So, he (Wike) just isn’t the primary. See what occurred to Adams Oshiomhole and the Edo State Governor, Obaseki. We noticed what occurred.
He ought to study from the previous. Don’t make this boy hate you as a result of if the boy now begins to combat you, he’ll destroy you. This was the State Accountant Basic who is aware of the way you spent the entire Rivers State Authorities cash. Don’t take with no consideration that there’s a court docket judgment that no one ought to probe Rivers State Authorities. Any individual will come at some point to probe Rivers State. And he (Fubara) can arrange a fee of inquiry towards you as you probably did to (Rotimi) Amaechi, and you may be indicted.
The governor has a lot energy. So, don’t push him to the purpose the place he’ll work towards you and take steps that can destroy you as a result of it’s simpler to destroy however very arduous to construct. And don’t suppose you’re Superman.
Rivers State has been identified to be in political turmoil. Do you suppose that there will probably be an finish to the political disaster in Rivers State?
Nicely, it will depend on the governor. If the governor needs to combat this folks to a standstill, they’ll all run away. A few of them will come and beg as a result of he’ll use plenty of methods, and after they don’t see the place to cover, they’ll come again. But when he needs to affix them and get himself destroyed, Rivers State folks will not come to his rescue if he goes forward to affix them and permit himself to be destroyed. So, he ought to be very cautious and know that the folks of Rivers State love him and that’s the reason they got here out en masse. Let him encourage the folks of Rivers State; he ought to know that he’s the governor that they voted for.
Have a look at the best way they poured the governor water, teargas, after which gunshots. What if he had died? So, he ought to maintain an arm’s size and get new buddies inside your celebration or the state as a result of the legislation may be very clear. You’re the governor; you have got the chief powers and no matter you resolve is last. You’ve immunity. So, it is best to train your constitutional powers to rescue your self and in addition redeem the state.
The members of the Rivers State Home of Meeting appear to be pandering to the whims of Wike than his successor, Fubara. Why do you suppose the lawmakers put themselves in a scenario the place they hardly get pleasure from independence?
The very fact stays that the ability was not with Fubara. The ability was with Nyesom Wike. So, all people should go in the direction of the ability, the place the ability is. He appoints, he allocates, he distributes, he decides. So, they didn’t see Fubara as a governor till now he’s asserting himself. I’m comfortable that his group has been capable of elect one other speaker and different home officers and he can go forward to work with them. That’s the means I take a look at it. He shouldn’t waste time. He ought to ignore all these items they’re speaking about and transfer on. He ought to neglect about this so-called quarrel and allow them to see him transferring; let him see himself working, let him see himself doing sure issues that can make authorities thrilling to the folks. Rivers folks wish to see his motion in order that he can begin to take motion and transfer on.
What recommendation will you give to the lawmakers within the state Home of Meeting over the commotion that occurred?
My recommendation to them is that they have been elected to work with this current governor. They weren’t elected to work with Nyesom Wike. Due to this fact, they need to be capable of know themselves and be loyal to Fubara who’s the governor as a result of there may be nothing they’ll do. The one part he recognises is the Home of Meeting as a result of he assents to no matter legislation they make. If he refuses to assent to no matter legislation they make; if he refuses to accent to the legislation they make they usually can’t veto it, it’s over. And if he refused to fund them, they will even keep there. So, they need to know that the ability has shifted to Fubara.
Aside from the State Home of Meeting, the judiciary additionally seems to not have proven some stage of independence. What’s the drawback of this example and what will be executed to sort out this problem?
The judiciary; all of them are a bit loyal to the supply. The supply as of yesterday was Wike. So, let him take cost. I will even advise him (Fubara) to name a Safety Council assembly; let him name a Safety Council assembly in addition to arrange his system whereby he’ll monitor no matter they’re doing. That’s my recommendation. Let him take excellent care of himself; let him safe himself, let him take away all those who he perceives to be enemies or who are usually not loyal to him and get a construction, a people who will probably be loyal to him and do his work.
A retiring justice of the Supreme Court docket, Justice Mohamed Dattijo, stated most Nigerians have misplaced confidence within the judiciary. Do you share an analogous view with him?
Nicely, the judiciary has disenchanted lots of people, notably in Rivers State. Through the elections, you noticed what the judiciary did. A few of them have been giving contradictory judgments on one difficulty. So, the judiciary wants a reform whereby we get people who find themselves not eager about materials issues. Moderately they need to be eager about honour. We’d like a judiciary that can deal with the safety, and the complete welfare of Nigeria via their judgments. That’s what we’d like. So, in the event that they work that means, Nigeria will probably be a greater place.
Three low season elections will probably be held on November 11 in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states. What can the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee do to spice up the eroding confidence of the residents within the electoral system?
INEC has destroyed itself as a result of it can’t maintain its legislation, and so, folks have misplaced religion in it. It’s left for the fee to reinvent itself and do what is correct as a result of Nigerians have misplaced religion in INEC.
There are reviews that the Imo State Authorities has booked all of the accommodations in each nook and cranny of Owerri, the state capital, forward of the November 11 governorship election. How will you react to this?
I’m not in Imo State; I don’t know what’s going on there. However all the identical, it’s a part of the sport. If there’s a major election and other people will come, all of the aspirants ought to be capable of safe a spot for themselves. You may’t wait until the final minute when the governor is making an attempt to outsmart you, as a result of it’s a sport of outsmarting one another; that’s politics.
How then will these coming from outdoors the state get lodging for the protection of the election when the complete accommodations within the state capital, have reportedly been booked by the state authorities?
Nicely, they need to know that Owerri is a small metropolis, however an outdated metropolis. They need to be capable of put together for themselves if they’re coming for election. They can’t wait until the final minute. So, they have to put together for themselves and be guided. And if you’re coming to your village, why don’t you have got one thing in your village? In any case, Owerri is a central place for nearly all of the communities. When you don’t have anyplace to remain, you go to your group and are available for the election the identical day. In lower than half-hour, you’re already within the centre. That’s the means I take a look at it.
What’s your view concerning the Supreme Court docket verdict that affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu on the common election?
The Supreme Court docket has spoken; my view is not going to have something to do with Supreme Court docket judgment. Whether or not we prefer it or not, we settle for it as a result of there may be nowhere else to enchantment to. The Supreme Court docket is the best within the land they usually have spoken. So, whether or not it’s correct or not, they’ve spoken.
Why is it that former Rivers State governors always disagree with their successors? You may recall this declare within the relationship between Peter Odili and Rotimi Amaechi, Ameachi and Wike, and now, Wike and Fubara.
I’ve persistently stated there may be karma. This karma began with Odili. When Odili turned governor, he was not on good phrases with Ada George. At some extent, he was combating those that introduced him; Alabo Graham Douglas and Marshal Harry. And I informed him this factor would boomerang. Years after, his closest individual, Rotimi Amaechi; his former aide, the person he made Speaker, the person he made all the things turned his albatross, and nature did it in such a way that you just can’t consider it.
Then Amaechi got here and stated he wished to probe Odili, and he arrange a judicial fee of inquiry towards Odili. I informed him, ‘Don’t do it’. It’s karma. He didn’t pay attention, and he did that. Now, after Amaechi’s tenure, Wike got here and did the identical factor to him. Now, see the case of Fubara and Wike. So, karma is there, Wike is now inviting the karma upon himself. He’s a superman, and he feels nothing can occur until he’s there. It’s he that should be obeyed. So, he has executed so; let’s see the way it ends. However his karma is upon his head.
With the situations which have performed out in Nigeria. Do you suppose godfatherism ought to be stamped out in Nigeria’s politics?
Nicely, how are you going to stamp out godfatherism? You’ll attempt to stamp it out, however it isn’t potential as a result of anyone should allow you to someplace. I’m simply laughing as a result of Wike was helped by former President Goodluck Jonathan along with his spouse and others. Immediately, he’s behaving as if no one helped him. So, it (godfatherism) should be continued. Wike was towards godfatherism, abusing Oshiomhole, and right now, he needs to be a godfather. How can it’s potential? He (Wike) stated the APC was having most cancers whereas the PDP had malaria. Now, he has left malaria to most cancers.
However he has not joined the APC but?
However he’s working within the APC authorities. What’s he? Is he simply there as a justifier?
You’re an elder statesman. What function do you suppose conventional rulers can play in tackling insecurity from the grassroots?
The structure ought to be amended to provide capabilities to the normal rulers. If conventional rulers are empowered within the space of safety, then they’ll be capable of stamp out insecurity of their state/nation. However the place they don’t have powers, you simply make them combat with out safety, with out weapons to go and combat criminals, unlawful oil bunkering folks. If that’s the case, they (conventional rulers) will probably be killed.
It has occurred in a number of communities. So, I consider that constitutional provision ought to be given to conventional rulers of their varied communities in order that they are often helpful to society. The normal rulers will be helpful to society, the native authorities, and their group as a result of there’s a legislation. The legislation says these are their roles and the roles should be particularly spelt out in order that a few of them is not going to additionally use the place to victimise others.