The contentious agreement allegedly brokered by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, continues to meet with widespread opposition from various fronts.
The latest challenge from the Opobo Elder Statesmen4Sim, rejected the purported accord, stating that the agreement lacks legal grounding and challenges the autonomy of Rivers State.
Following an emergency meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the group issued a communiqué articulating their strong rejection.
In the communiqué jointly signed by the Chairman, BoP, Alabo Reuben Mietamuno Saturday-Jaja, PhD, Soide Jaja II, and Chairman, Alabo Adonye E. Cockeye Brown as well as members of the Executive Council, the group emphasized President Tinubu’s alleged overreach, contending that he lacked the constitutional authority to interfere in the internal affairs of a State.
The elders pointedly highlighted that the President’s role primarily involves overseeing federal appointees, not dictating terms to a governor.
Their opposition is firmly rooted in constitutional limitations, as they highlighted that the President’s agreement cannot override court rulings, especially in legal proceedings like impeachment or legislative matters.
The Opobo elders also challenged the directive to withdraw court cases, citing constitutional provisions mandating vacant seats for legislators who decamped without adhering to party division or merger protocol.
Moreover, the Opobo Elderstatesmen4Sim insisted on recognizing only the Edison Ehie-led House of Assembly members as authentic representatives, delegitimizing the positions of decamped legislators led by Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule.
The group contested the need for FCT Minister’s approval for reappointing commissioners, emphasizing the importance of local government autonomy and elected officials’ rights to administer local affairs without higher authority interference.
Conclusively, the elders resolutely rejected the agreement, pledging to vigorously contest any attempts to implement its contents within Rivers State.
They underlined their commitment to upholding constitutional provisions and safeguarding state governance autonomy against external interference, calling on President Tinubu to retract the agreement to prevent a constitutional crisis.
They warned of potential legal action if their plea remained unheeded.