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Group demands arrest of Rivers APC chair over ‘state of emergency’ remark

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The Coalition of Rivers State Leaders of Thought on Thursday, urged the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to arrest Chief Tony Okocha, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, for demanding a state of emergency.

At a press conference in Abuja, High Chief Sunnie Chukumele, the convener of CORSLOT, accused Okocha and Dr. Samuel Wanosike, the former Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government, of plotting to extend the tenure of 21 local government chairmen beyond their official end date of June 17, 2024.

Chukumele said, “It is pitiable that this amended local government law serves the interests of some powerful individuals outside the state.”

He continued, “The script is just being echoed by Chief Tony Okocha’s call for a state of emergency in our dear State. Dr. Samuel Wanosike has been the mouthpiece of the destabilizers of Rivers State and his penchant for denigrating the office and person of the State Governor is unacceptable.”

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CORSLOT called on the police and the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, to immediately arrest Okocha and Wanosike.

“We call on the Inspector General of Police and the National Security Adviser to immediately arrest Chief Tony Okocha and Dr. Samuel Wanosike for questioning based on their conflagrated statements and activities,” said Chukumele.

He also addressed the National Judicial Council regarding judicial officers’ conflicting interpretations and orders.

“This situation is giving away the hallowed reputation of the Nigerian Judiciary. The NJC should reprimand erring judicial officers found compromising the image of the judicial institution,” Chukumele added.

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The coalition also appealed to President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the situation. “We appeal to President Bola Tinubu to take immediate steps to wade into the impending catastrophe in Rivers State caused by political gladiators,” Chukumele said. He warned that the political conflict could escalate into ethnic conflicts, which would be counterproductive to efforts to attract investors, particularly in the oil and gas sector.

CORSLOT also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct elections to fill vacant positions in the Rivers State House of Assembly. They urged, “INEC should conduct elections to fill the vacant positions created by the death of the member representing Khana Constituency and the resignation of the former Speaker representing Ahoada Constituency.”

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The coalition commended Governor Siminalayi Fubara for his calmness in the face of provocations and for filling the positions vacated by the previous local government chairmen. “We commend Governor Fubara for his steps in filling the positions left by the former local government chairmen,” Chukumele said.

Finally, CORSLOT called for a holistic amendment of the laws governing local government administration and urged the international community to intervene in the Rivers State crisis to protect the economic interests of International Oil Corporations operating in the Niger Delta region.

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