Why National Assembly can’t Act Swiftly on Rivers Crisis – Reps spokesman

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The House of Representatives said on Friday that it was unable to take any formal action regarding the political crisis engulfing Rivers State at this time since it had not yet been brought before the National Assembly.

This was revealed in an interview with the House of Representatives’ deputy spokesman, Phillip Agbese.

Siminalayi Fubara, the governor of Rivers State, is engaged in an ongoing conflict with Nyesom Wike, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory and his predecessor.

The problem has caused division in the state House of Assembly, as Wike-supporting legislators are pushing for Fubara’s impeachment.

Following the crisis, an explosion was seen at the Assembly complex on October 29, and Wike filed an indictment against the governor for it.

Wike stated that Fubara ought to have addressed him directly about the matter instead of ordering people to “burn the hallowed chambers,” and Fubara acknowledged that he still loyal to the past governor.

According to a December 8 PUNCH article, Fubara stated that he would not renounce his mission to serve, defend, and enhance the fortunes of the state, regardless of the degree of intentional sabotage.

The State Government destroyed the State House of Assembly on Wednesday.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Communications, Joseph Johnson, said that the decision was brought about by the fire that completely damaged goods valued at millions of naira, making the building unsuitable for legislative business.

A number of commissioners have resigned due to the state’s issue, and 27 MPs who were supportive of Wike have switched from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

The 1999 Constitution (as modified), Sections 11(4) and (5), provide that the National Assembly may assume control of state Houses of Assembly until the issue facing it is resolved.

Subsection (4) provides, “At any time when any House of Assembly of a state is unable to perform its functions because of the situation prevailing in that state, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that state concerning matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear.”

Subsection (5) reads, “For the purposes of subsection (4) of this section, a House of Assembly shall not be deemed to be unable to perform its functions as long as the House of Assembly can hold a meeting and transact business.”

Agbese said that the disagreement has not yet been brought before the Federal House, citing the reasons why the National Assembly is unable to act in the situation and assume control of the House of Assembly for the time being.

 “It is true that there is a constitutional backing for the National Assembly to intervene where there are established instances of crisis in a state House of Assembly that is unable to perform its functions.

“The 10th House has not been notified of any crisis. If it is not formally aware, there is nothing much we can do by way of intervention in the crisis, but it is our wish that the matter will be resolved amicably so that Rivers lawmakers can go about the business they were elected to do by their people. This is all I can say for now,” Agbese said exclusively while speaking to Saturday PUNCH.

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