The Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD) has appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to employ the conflict resolution approach he used in Ondo State to address the political crisis in Rivers State. VATLAD’s national president, Engr Igbini Emmanuel, called on key figures within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to settle the political discord between former governor Nyesom Wike and his political protégé, Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Expressing disappointment, Emmanuel noted that the focus of the PDP’s National Executive Council (NEC) on declaring the seats of 27 defected legislators vacant and urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct immediate by-elections was surprising. He emphasized that, instead of intervening to resolve the minor political disagreement for the greater interest of the people of Rivers State and the state’s continued peace and progress, the PDP NEC opted for a by-election.
Emmanuel questioned whether the PDP intended to replicate a scenario where Governor Fubara governs the state without the involvement of the legislators or with only a fraction of the total legislators. He urged Nigerians not to allow the PDP to repeat such actions in Rivers State or any part of Nigeria, as it poses a severe threat to constitutional democracy, good governance, order, and peace.
He further pointed out the irony, asking if these were the same PDP chieftains and NEC members who supported the disregard and desecration of the 1999 Nigerian constitution, as amended, when Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State excluded a majority of elected members from the Edo State House of Assembly from June 2019 to June 2023. Emmanuel concluded by highlighting the importance of upholding constitutional principles in the interest of democracy and peace.