Reps: Opposition Parties, CUPP kick against illegal extension of Rivers State LGAs

The Opposition Parties in the House of Representatives under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) on Friday kicked against the level of impunity being perpetuated by some lawmakers who defected from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC) who allegedly extended the tenure of the 23 Chairmen of Local Governments whose tenure is expected to end in few weeks time.

The CUPP Spokesman, Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere who spoke on behalf of the federal lawmakers during a press briefing held in Abuja, condemned in strong terms the grand plan by the embattled members of the River State House of Assembly to override Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s veto without sending the controversial bill to the Governor for assent.

Hon. Ugochinyere who described passage of he controversial legislation as a recipe for chaos and lawlessness, argued that the purported tenure elongation of the Rivers State Local Government Chairmen is “legislative rascality and a coup against democracy that is dead on arrival.

” While condemning the flagrant abuse of the legislative process that cannot be enforced, the CUPP Spokesman maintained that the ugly development is an “invitation to anarchy and an attempt to sabotage Presidential peace accord signed by the embattled lawmakers with legitimacy questions.”

Hon. Ugochinyere who reiterated the CUPP stance against the development, urged Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately conduct Bye-Election for the replacement of the lawmakers who defected from PDP to APC in breach of the provisions of the Electoral Act and 1999 Constitution (as amended).

According to him, “Assuming without conceding that the Rivers House of Assembly sent the law to the Governor, the Governor has 30 days within which to assent to the law or withhold his assent and it can only be at the expiration of the 30 days that the House of Assembly can adjudge that the Governor has withheld assent and not earlier.”

He described the move as legislative rascality and a coup against democracy that is dead on arrival. “Illegally extending the tenure of Local Government Chairmen just few weeks to the expiration of their tenure is an abuse of legislative process that cannot be enforced. It is the height of legislative rascality and a coup against democracy that is dead on arrival,” he stated.

The Opposition Parties’ Spokesperson further stated that the plot was a deliberate invitation to anarchy and an inglorious attempt by the Rivers lawmakers to sabotage the Presidential Peace Accord.

According to him,”These Rivers Assembly men are truly acting like people to do not hold the sacred mandate of the people. Otherwise, they should have known that this plot is a deliberate invitation to anarchy and an inglorious attempt to sabotage the Presidential Peace Accord.

We hereby call on the President to call them to order to avert total breakdown of law and order in the State.”

About two months ago, the same group of members with questionable mandate purported to have amended the same Local Government Law. Less than two months after, they are purporting to amend it again.

They are now clearly playing Ping-Pong with Rivers State laws. Ikenga Ugochinyere further questioned, “How could the agenda of people who call themselves lawmakers in a state be to strip the Executive Governor of their state of all executive powers and they are comfortable with it? If they attach any value to the live of the people of Rivers State, they would support the Governor of Rivers State to succeed, for the benefit of the people rather than support anything that will undermine him and set him up for failure including instigating anarchy.

“Every reasonable and right thinking citizen of Rivers state should rally round the Governor to ensure he succeeds and bring the dividends of democracy to the people. The rate the Martin Amaehwule led House of Assembly are moving and trying to ignite violence in Rivers State should tell the Police that these most likely the persons who set the House of Assembly Complex ablaze and because they got out of it, are now willing to set the entire state on fire,” he noted.

While acknowledging that the ongoing legislative crises rocking Rivers State House of Assembly has created constitutional crises, he disclosed that CUPP is already mobilizing towards the National Assembly to take over the activities of the Rivers State House of Assembly in line with extant provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). END

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