Breaking: Crisis Continues in Rivers as Former LG Chairmen, Youths Storm Secretariats for Protest

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Rivers State remains engulfed in tension as former council chairmen from 21 out of 23 local governments have launched protests against their removal from office. The demonstrations, which began early this morning, have seen the ex-chairmen and their supporters brandishing placards with messages like “Police, continue occupying the councils” and “Sim Fubara can’t continue to act as he likes.”

This unrest follows last week’s intervention by the Rivers State Police Command, which prevented some chairmen from accessing their secretariats, in line with a directive to take control of all 23 local government council secretariats.

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In Buguma, the headquarters of Asari-Toru Local Government Area (LGA), former Chairman Onengiyeofori George led a procession of supporters through the town, chanting solidarity songs in favor of Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike. Similarly, in Abonnema, the headquarters of Akuku-Toru LGA, a group of protesters demonstrated their support for the police’s ongoing closure of the council offices.

The former chairmen are reportedly loyal to former Governor Nyesom Wike. The crisis escalated when Governor Siminalayi Fubara directed Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAs) to assume leadership of the councils, following the expiration of the three-year tenure of the elected chairmen, vice chairmen, and councilors.

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Despite this directive, the former chairmen have refused to step down, resulting in clashes between supporters of the opposing political factions. Adding to the turmoil, a recent court ruling annulled the tenure extension granted by a 27-member Assembly loyal to Wike, acknowledging instead a three-member House of Assembly aligned with Governor Fubara.

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The situation continues to develop as both factions stand firm, raising concerns about the stability and governance in Rivers State.

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