BREAKING: Police take over Rivers House of Assembly quarters

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About 30 armed policemen have taken over all the entrances to the House of Assembly quarters located along the Aba Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

It was gathered that both the first and second gates to the lawmakers’ estate were safeguarded by the police with about 30 patrol vans used to block the entrances.

The development came shortly after the Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly claimed that the governor was planning to demolish the quarters following his recent surprise visit to the facility.

But the governor, Siminalayi Fubara, had explained that his visit to the estate on Thursday was harmless.

The governor said: “Is the Assembly quarters not part of my property? Is there anything wrong in going to check how things are going on there?

“You are aware of the developments. We have a new speaker, and I went there to see for myself how things are. There might be a few things I might want to do there for the good of our people.”

It was learnt that following the alarm raised by Amaewhule, the anti-Fubara lawmakers including some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) kept vigil around the estate till daybreak.

Armed policemen were seen barricading the gates on Friday to secure the facility.

 However, the Sim Media Volunteers (SMV) called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to monitor the activities of policemen in the state and ensure they observed the rules of engagement.

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The convener of the group, Frank Kilsi, decried the arrest and intimidation of the governor’s supporters by the police saying the development could lead to anarchy.

Kilsi, who spoke in Port Harcourt, on Friday, said: “We call on the Inspector-General of Police to rein in his men and exercise restrain by stopping the unnecessary attack or wanton arrest on any of the governor’s supporters, as further harassment could lead to anarchy and breakdown of law and order that may not do our state any good.

Kilsi appreciated the overwhelming support of Rivers people to Fubara and their decision to stand firm in defence of democracy despite challenges. 

He said: “We, the youths of the state, under the aegis of SIM Media Volunteers, do hereby emphasize the need for peace, justice and development in Rivers State.

“We implore all relevant stakeholders such as the citizens, political leaders, traditional institutions, and law enforcement agencies, to ensure that the rights and freedom of the people are upheld and protected at all times.

To this end, we would like to acknowledge and applaud the great youths of Rivers State for being peaceful and law-abiding even in the face of provocation”.

Kilsi commended the governor’s peaceful disposition and commitment to the security of lives and property in the state and asked him to continue on such a path of development.

He said Fubara’s commitment to the advancement of the state had opened up the space and the state for investors.

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He said: “This is clearly justified by the forthcoming Rivers State Economic and Investment Summit slated as part of the first anniversary of His Excellency.

“It is obvious that detractors may not acknowledge this bold step that has eluded the state in the past, but with cutting-edge leadership imbued in fortified strategic procedures, our state is about to witness another season of economic prosperity.

“It is on this note that we want to address the sore losers of the inglorious October 30, 2023 impeachment plot against the governor to stop their callous, mischievous, and barefaced sabotage and evil against the governor and his government.

“We urge them to desist from every act of thuggery, banditry, and violence as well as subtle connivance with the police to harass, intimidate, arrest and incarcerate followers and supporters of Governor Fubara”.

Kilsi applauded the sterling leadership of Fubara commending his efforts to improve the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N12bn to N27bn within a year of his administration.

Describing the feat as unprecedented, Kilsi said it had singled him out amongst his contemporaries as he highlighted other developmental successes in human capital development, quality Infrastructure delivery, provision of the functional healthcare system, revamping of the educational sector, job creation, security and welfare of citizens.

“These remarkable achievements reflect Governor Fubara’s acumen and steadfast dedication to prudent fiscal management of resources, ensuring equitable and sustainable development of the state.

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“We further seize this opportunity to commend the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his painstaking efforts at actualising the renewed hope agenda for the nation”.

Kilsi backed the factional Speaker, Victor Oko-Jumbo, and Leader, Sokari Goodboy describing their emergence as a welcome development in the journey to liberate Rivers from the bondage.

He said: “Indeed, true redemption has begun in Rivers State and we shall stand firm as youths of our dear state to support the new leadership of the House and the indefatigable governor of Rivers State.

We are indeed gladdened by the news of our Leader and Governor of Rivers State rolling out drums to celebrate his one year in office beginning with the commissioning of projects on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

“In fact, the exercise elates Rivers people because, despite the barrage of attacks and antics of detractors to distract His Excellency from delivering dividends of democracy to Rivers people, he has stunned them and set unprecedented records in the areas of infrastructure, social welfare, and economic development.

“Having evaluated the people-oriented leadership style of the Governor, which is centered on Rivers first and the growth and development of our dear state, we the youths of Rivers State hereby pass an absolute vote of confidence on the governor”.

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