Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has come under criticisms over the suspension of 12 local government chairmen.
The Governor had last Thursday, through a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, suspended, Philemon Kingolo-Chairman, Okrika LGA, Tom Aliezi-Emohua, Daniel E.O. Daniel-Abua/Odual, Tony Philmoore-Degema and Lahteh Loolo-Khana.
Others are, Paul Kobani-Gokana, Ben Eke-Ahoada East, Samuel Nwanosike-Ikwerre, Philip Oparaji-Eleme, Paul A. Paul-Andoni, Christian Nwaiwu-Omuma and Erasmus Victor-Ogu/Bolo for failure to attend official function.
A cross section of Rivers People who spoke to The Vortex on the issue, described the governor’s action as unconstitutional and an affront on the autonomy of local governments. They also criticized the Rivers State House of Assembly for ratifying the suspension.
The lawmakers had in a unanimous decision thrown their weight behind the governor’s action citing section 64(3) of the Rivers State local government law No.5 of 2018.
Governor Wike had earlier stated that he derived his power to suspend the chairmen from the same section of the law.
However, those who spoke to The Vortex said using sweeping powers to suspend elected local government chairmen was antithetical to democracy and urged him to recall them.
Some of them said such action could only take place in a military or autocratic government.
Mabel Iwu-Governor Wike’s suspension of the chairmen is illegal and an affront on the autonomy of the local government administration. Local government chairmen should be allowed to operate independently without any form of interference from the governors. They have certain functions the constitution prescribed for them which they should be allowed to carry out. Intimidating them as Governor Wike had done is not acceptable.
Chukwu Uba – The governor’s action is unconstitutional and therefore unjustifiable. The man acted like a military dictator who administers a country with decrees. Suspension of local government chairmen is antithetical to democracy. It should not be tolerated at all in a democracy.
Okene Georgewill – Governor Wike should not been seen to be acting like a dictator. His suspension of 12 LGA chairmen for failure to attend official function is dictatorial. He should rescind his decision and recall them.
Rivers lawmakers who ratified the governor’s action had proved that they are mere rubber stamp for the governor. They do the bidding of the governor without caring what its consequences would be.
Barisua Lewu – I thought that Governor Wike had learned some lessons from the challenges he faced during the governship election. Rivers people took pity upon him because of the way the army were used to intimidate him and almost boxed him into a corner. Why is he now treading the same path, intimidating elected local government chairmen? Wike has suspended them because his powers are bigger than theirs. This action will bring hatred to the governor and elicit sympathies for the suspended chairmen. The governor should recall them.
As for the lawmakers who ratified the illegality, their own turn is coming. Remember that when you help to prop up a dictator, he would turn back to devour you after he had dealt with those standing on his way. He will vanquish everybody that stand on his way. Lawmakers will not be spared when the time comes.
Nma Abie – The suspended local government chairman are lily-livered. Why have they not confronted the governor and tell him that he committed an illegality by suspending them. If I were them I would take the governor to court to demand for justice. But had any of them uttered a word against their suspension? We do not know where this country is heading.