Rivers State governor, Fubara removes 23 LG chairmen as tenure expires

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has issued a directive for heads of local government administration to assume control of the state’s 23 council areas. 

The governor’s move comes in response to the expiration of the statutory three-year tenure of elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen, and councillors.

In a broadcast on Tuesday, Governor Fubara instructed Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAs) to take charge of the councils promptly and with renewed commitment. 

He emphasised the importance of upholding the constitution and maintaining law and order, urging HLGAs to provide continued leadership in their respective areas.

Expressing gratitude for their service, Governor Fubara thanked the outgoing chairmen and councillors whose terms concluded with the expiration.

A significant transition crisis has erupted across Rivers State’s 23 local governments. 

On Monday, anxiety gripped Degema and Asari-Toru councils as youths seized control of their secretariats following the end of the tenure of chairmen, councillors, and other officials.

Amidst the crisis, tensions increased following reports of armed youths in riverine areas and rumours that the governor had submitted names for seven-man caretaker committees to lawmakers for screening.

In a viral video, an unidentified leader of a joint task force on anti-bunkering threatened action, announcing preparations to escort caretaker committees to councils, including a confrontation with the outgoing chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Nwanosike.

Meanwhile, Rivers State Police Commissioner Olatunji Disu assured residents of security measures and urged compliance with legal orders to maintain peace. He emphasised the police’s commitment to safeguarding lives and property and warned against unlawful acts during this period of transition.

Speaking from the police headquarters in Port Harcourt on Monday, CP Disu briefed journalists on the unfolding situation across various LGAs. He called on all political factions to observe a ceasefire pending the resolution of their legal disputes.

CP Disu emphasised the readiness of his officers to secure the council headquarters and maintain peace throughout the state.