Government indifference to boiling Rivers and Kano rivers

Government indifference to boiling Rivers and Kano rivers

Sir: For all you keen followers, the politics of Rivers State has been in upheaval for the past one year or so. First, the Governor lost control over all his cabinet members and the State House of Assembly was going to issue a notice of impeachment to the Governor. Instead of allowing that unfortunate event to happen, the Governor ordered the demolition of the House of Assembly chamber, an act that was a total abuse of power and can be termed as treason against the democratic structure of our country. But again, nothing happened.

Secondly, during the liberation mission, we have watched with dismay as the police, under the direction of those close to the corridors of power, tried to throw boiling water on the Rivers State Governor and prevent him from entering the Assembly. But that did not stop the Governor. He used his executive powers to present the budget to the minority members of the Assembly, which was deemed an illegal way of following democratic procedures. But again, nothing happened.

Thirdly, tensions have been building in the state for the past few months as the tenure of the incumbent local government chairmen expired. As a result, the camps of Mr. Wike and Governor Hubara have begun making violent threats. While Mr. Wike's camp maintains that only the court can remove them, Governor Hubara's camp says that as per the governor's orders, they must leave office before the expiry of their terms. Even as I write this, tensions are naturally building in Rivers and God only knows when this melting pot will stop boiling.

Since the incidents began happening in Rivers State, security agents in the state have been working closely with Hubara despite multiple court orders and lawsuits. The Commissioner of Police has never publicly opposed the Governor. In fact, at the peak of the unrest, the first Commissioner of Police was revoked and a new one was issued to the state just to cater to the Governor.

Rivers is an oil producing state and a key component of Nigeria's dwindling economy. There is clearly a clear threat to national security emerging from political instability there. However, security forces have never seized parts of the state against the orders of the state governor. Security forces have never usurped the powers of the executive governor. Not once.

Meanwhile, in Kano, the state government passed a law restoring the emirate to the status quo that existed for over 100 years. The governor, using the powers granted to him by the constitution, signed the bill into law. With this single law, the governor generously refused to expel dethroned persons from the state, contrary to past emirate traditions.

Nevertheless, some political actors are positioning themselves to destabilize the peaceful coexistence of a nation that has given them everything, and as a result, with the help of those on top, are fanning the fires of resentment that are smoldering and at risk of flare-up again from time to time.

It should be noted that the Rivers and Kano cases are mutually exclusive and comprehensively exhaustive. However, the latter seems to have attracted the attention of security agents and the Federal Government, despite posing a much lesser threat to national security than the Rivers case. The question is, why always Kano?

Again, it should be noted that political actors who have been democratically defeated in two elections, including the courts, are hell-bent on continually creating unending chaos in Kano State to prepare for the 2027 elections.

We should remind the Federal Government that those encouraging the challenge of a democratically elected Governor are not benefiting the entire process. More specifically, state actors should be mindful that they are setting a dangerous precedent as tomorrow, someone with access to power may exercise a worse grammar that contradicts the laws of the land.

The world is watching, and even if those in power are re-elected, seven years will fly by.

Harun Muhammad wrote from Lagos.


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