Convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Edwin Clark, has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene in the political crisis rocking Rivers State.
We had reported that on Monday, 27 members of the Rivers House of Assembly defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmakers who are said to be loyal to Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), held a plenary session at about 8 am where the decision was taken amid tight security.
According to the legislators, division within the PDP was their reason for jumping ship.
In a letter addressed to the President, Clark asked Tinubu to “personally handle this matter.”
“Mr. President, I want to seek your clarification, why is the Minister keeping structures and for what purpose.
“I recall that in his days as a Governor, he had attacked the concept of godfatherism as totally unacceptable.
“As a matter of fact, this made him to fall out with his predecessor, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, the immediate past Minister of Transportation, whom we know was not even directly interfering in the affairs of the state.
“So, what purpose are the structures supposed to serve when there is a governor in place?
“This is a question that he owes you and all Nigerians.
“If all governors who as a matter of right, insist on allowing their favoured candidates as successor, insist on controlling them, insist on controlling the State Assemblies, insist on controlling the structure which they left behind, what manner of confusion will we have in Nigeria?
“To further put themselves against the Governor and possibly drag you and your political party, the APC, we are now receiving a breaking news that “27 Members of Rivers State House of Assembly (all of whom are PDP like the Governor) decamped to the APC. The question is what is going on?
“In his state, at a relatively young age of 55 years, my son Wike had been a Minister of State, Minister in Federal Ministry of Education, before serving as Governor for 8 years and now Minister of FCT. So what does he need a structure for? This is very curious.
“If strong politicians such as yourself and other former presidents never talk about controlling structures, so how can a minister be threatening a governor not to touch a structure he has left in place.
“This is a bad precedent and if other Ministers in your government follow this trend, then it will be total confusion!”
According to Clark, the Minister is focusing on the wrong problems.
“As a member of your cabinet, you may need to call this minister to order to face the work in the quietness which is demanded of him.
“He should focus on his office and know that he is just one among a cabinet of 48 persons, besides the Vice President and yourself.
“The country has enough problems which your government must sit down to solve. The FCT itself is full of challenges all over and he has more than he can chew and therefore avoid these distractions,” he added.
The elder statesman said a further degeneration of the political crisis in Rivers would spell chaos for the country because of the State’s importance to the stability of the Niger Delta and the overall national economy.