Metro

I have no cause to worry – Fubara reacts to Appeal Court ruling

Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers has assured the people of the state of unwavering commitment to providing critical infrastructure required for the speedy development of the State.

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Fubara gave the assurance while speaking to newsmen after the inspection of the reconstruction work at the Zonal Hospital in Bori town, Khana Local Government Area.

The governor said that there was no cause to worry over the recent pronouncements of the appeal court.

According to him, there is no cause to worry because God has prepared him a table of blessings in the presence of his enemies.

“I know that a lot of you will be wondering what is going on and all that. Government has its own challenges. If you go to the book of Psalm 23 verse 5, in the Bible, it said that God prepares a table before you; it can be before anybody.

“But there is an underlined word that should be noted there: it said ‘in the presence of your enemies’. So, it means that nothing comes easy.

“I want to assure everyone of you and the good people of Rivers State, that we are not deterred. We have made our promises, we will continue to give you good governance, no matter how difficult it is.

“But, like I said before, the worse is over. We are moving on to ensure that we continue to provide what is needed for the development of our state,” he said.

Fubara stated that healthcare, education, agriculture among other sectors would be his top priority and would be given uncompromised attention and optimal services.

He explained that his administration did not meet any functional zonal hospital, stressing that funds had been released to reconstruct and expand four zonal hospitals to ensure quality healthcare service delivery.

The governor expressed satisfaction with the progress of work done so far by the contractor and urged the construction firm to deliver quality job and on time.

Fubara said that the hospitals, when completed, would meet the healthcare needs of the people within the catchment areas, and address key issues in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and policy objectives of his administration.

Pro-Fubara lawmakers proceed to Supreme Court

Meanwhile, the faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, led by Victor Oko-Jumbo, says it will challenge the verdict of the Appeal Court which declared Martins Amaewhule as the authentic speaker of the house.

Oko-Jumbo, the Speaker of the assembly’s faction loyal to Gov. Siminalayi Fubara, disclosed this during a sitting of the house in Port Harcourt in Friday.

It would be recalled that the Appeal Court on Thursday, set aside a decision of the Rivers State High Court which declared that Martins Amaewhule and 24 other lawmakers were no longer members of the assembly.

The appeal court held that the Rivers State High Court had no jurisdiction to entertain issues relating to the decampment of lawmakers.

Oko-Jumbo said that the assembly strongly believed that the appeal court was in error by declaring that a state high court could not hear such matter.

”I remain the authentic speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, there cannot be two houses of assembly in any state, not in Rivers,” he said.

He further said that the seats of Martins Amaewhule and 24 others lawmakers were validly declared vacant by the then speaker, Edison Ehie.

“On Dec.13, 2023, their seats were declared vacant following their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress on Dec. 11, 2023.

“That declaration by the then speaker, Edison Ehie has not been set aside by any court in Nigeria,” he Oko-Jumbo said.

The factional speaker further said that the assembly secured an order restraining Martins Amaewhule and the 24 other lawmakers from parading as speaker and members of the assembly.

Oko-Jumbo said that the decision of the appeal court only dwelt on jurisdiction, and did not look at other critical issues such as their decampment to another party.

“The Court of Appeal did not make any declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 24 others did not defect from the PDP to APC. It did not also make any declaration that they are still members of the house.

“In spite all their pretences, Martins Amaewhule and the 24 others are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly as we speak,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the sitting, the Oko-Jumbo-led assembly considered two bills, which were also moved through first reading.

The bills are, the Rivers State Emergency Management Agency Bill, 2024, and the Rivers State Transport Company Reform Bill, 2024.

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