The Deputy Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Phillip Agbese, has explained the reasons why the National Assembly has not intervened in the ongoing crisis in the Rivers State House of Assembly.
Agbese revealed that the ongoing political crisis in Rivers State has not been reported to the Green Chamber, noting that until the House is informed officially, there could be little or no intervention in the interim.
The State Assembly has been thrown into crisis, following the political feud between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and immediate former Governor of the State, Nyesom Wike.
Wike and Fubara, who happened to be his political son have parted ways over an issue unknown to anyone, and what has been described as the battle for the soul of the oil-rich state.
It would be recalled that 27 lawmakers believed to be Wike’s loyalists, defected to the All Progressives Congress, and Fubara, who appears ready to damn the consequences, wasted no time in demolishing the State House of Assembly Complex, a move seen as a masterstroke to nullify whatever decisions the lawmakers are likely to take against him.
Similarly, ten commissioners who are believed to be Wike’s loyalists, have also resigned their positions from the Fubara-led Rivers State Executive Council.
However, the tension in the state has led to the suggestions of possible intervention by the National Assembly, to restore peace and order, by taking over the role of the State lawmakers until the return of normalcy in line with the provision of Section 11 (4) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Subsection (4) provides, “At any time when any House of Assembly of a state is unable to perform its functions because of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that state concerning matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear.”
Subsection (5) reads, “For subsection (4) of this section, a House of Assembly shall not be deemed to be unable to perform its functions as long as the House of Assembly can hold a meeting and transact business.
Speaking on the development, Agbese said, “It is true that there is a constitutional backing for the National Assembly to intervene where there are established instances of crisis in a state House of Assembly that is unable to perform its functions.
“The 10th House has not been notified of any crisis. If it is not formally aware, there is nothing much we can do by way of intervention in the crisis, but it is our wish that the matter will be resolved amicably so that Rivers lawmakers can go about the business they were elected to do by their people. This is all I can say for now.”