‘Your tenure has expired, go home quietly’ – Asari Dokubo tells Rivers LG Chairmen

 

By Seyi Babalola

Muhajid Asari Dokubo, a Niger Delta leader and former militant, has asked the past chairman of Rivers State’s 23 local government areas to accept the end of their three-year terms in good faith and avoid causing a problem.

Daily Sun recounts that Governor Siminalayi Fubara had asked the chairmen, who were supported by Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, to resign when their terms expired.

However, they refused, alleging that the pro-Wike faction in the Rivers House of Assembly had extended their mandate.

The Martin Amaewhule-led Assembly amended the law to allow LG chairman to extend their terms by six months in response to Fubara’s claimed inability to arrange local government elections.

Daily Post reports that while addressing during the 2024 Eid-el-Kabir festivities in Port Harcourt, Asari Dokubo stated that extending the chairmen’s tenure violates the Nigerian Constitution.

He emphasized that past chairman cannot unilaterally extend their terms of office in violation of their pledge and expect to be recognized.

Asari Dokubo, also known as the Edi Abali of Kalabari land, warned the previous chairmen against inciting the fury of what he referred to as the “people’s power,” as this may result in dire repercussions for them.

According to him: “Local government tenure has expired today, June 17, 2024. They should quietly go home. If they want to seek re-election in accordance with the constitution, they should do so.

“But there is no tenure elongation in the constitution. Their position is tenure-bound and that tenure has expired. Let them not cause unnecessary problems for the people of the state. And I want to advise young people: look, don’t allow yourselves to be used.”

He continued, “Only one man can be governor of Rivers State at a time. We would not have two governors at a time. The people of Rivers State are bigger than Muhajid Asari Dokubo. Rivers State is bigger than any individual. No individual can take Rivers State people for a ride and pocket us. It is not possible.

“Most of us (them), their (our) children are not here, and their children have never come out to stand in front of any protest. They’re not like Mandela and his children or me and my children or any other person. A lot of people have not done this. So, nobody should be allowed to be used.

“The people are showing people’s power. The people have gone on their own to take over local government secretariats because it is about the people, and nobody can say that we voted for three years’ tenure for a chairman and the chairman should exceed one second of that tenure.

“So, the people of Rivers State are exercising their power, and they are ready to take over until the government is ready to conduct a new election,” Asari concluded.

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