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Rivers Crisis: If Political Settlement Can Surpass Legality, No Need For Supreme Court Judgements, Says Inko Tariah

“I must say that the governor himself is not ready to assert his rights and we don’t even know why.”

Former Special Adviser to Ex-Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike and civil rights advocate, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, has said, concerning the political crisis in Rivers State, that there is no need for a set precedent through a Supreme Court judgement if political settlements can surpass legal requirements.

Inko-Tariah made this statement in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday, where he also said that the FCT Minister Wike and Rivers State governor Siminalayi Fubara should not use Rivers State as the ‘ring’ for their fights, and they should leave governance out of the matter.

Inko Tariah said that despite Wike’s statements, there is no peace in Rivers State as he said “the FCT Minister was just mouthing pious relevance and sanctimonious triviality.”

The former adviser addressed the ongoing Rivers House of Assembly rift by saying, “We are going to have a very serious constitutional crisis. We must not allow sentiments becloud our reasoning. The reasons they had used for the defection, they said, oh, 8-point agenda. Must political settlement outdistance legal requirements and conditions? If that’s the case, we don’t need Supreme Court judgements anymore. We just need to go to the President and let him give a verdict on any issue. So, if he says you’re guilty, you’re guilty. If he says you’re innocent, you’re innocent. We don’t need the courts anymore.”

He went on to say, “As we speak, those persons are not even members of the House of Assembly irrespective of the agreement entered into, because that cannot supersede the provisions of the law, so they’re not. Which means we don’t have a speaker, we have only four members.”

Speaking of the rift between Wike and Fubara, he said, “I will not sit back and watch you murder your son because he’s your son, and because your son says he’s my father, therefore you’re going to bring out your gun and shoot that son to death, no I won’t let you do that, that’s number one. Number two, if it’s between father and son, they should go to the bedroom and fight and not use the state as the ring.

“The truth is we are not bothered about what goes on between father and son, they so called themselves, described themselves. There is no problem. But it’s affecting governance, that’s what we should understand, and it’s also affecting us. Nothing is happening in Rivers State in terms of Human Capital development, in terms of development to the infrastructure.”

Speaking on the position of the residents of Rivers State on this issue, he said, “A lot of us Rivers persons are saying first of all we need to be on the side of the law. Sadly, I must say that the governor himself is not ready to assert his rights and we don’t even know why. And a lot of us are miffed, we are peeved, because it’s not about Fubara himself, he just symbolises the struggle, it’s all about the office of the governor. It could have been any other person, he’s immaterial. So, when you see Rivers people come out en masse, troop out to support the governor, it’s not about Fubara, it’s a referendum against dictatorship.”

He further said, “What we want is just for the rule of law, and if we accept that, the rule of law, let me tell you that seventy percent of the problems would have been solved.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi