No plan to impeach Amaechi – PDP
PUBLIC outrage, on Wednesday, trailed the alleged plot to impeach the embattle Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi by five members of the state House of Assembly after the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suspended 27 out of the 32 members.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Otelemaba Amachree, had raised the alarm about the alleged plot by the Felix Obuah-led PDP to impeach Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, in what appeared a climax to the worsening crisis in the state.
In a statement, the speaker had claimed that a fake mace was smuggled into the state to enable five members of the house who allegedly belonged to the Nyeson Wike’s faction to hold an emergency session and impeach the governor.
A frontline politician, Alhaji Balarabe Musa described the purported move as complete madness, which all Nigerians must not only condemn but also resist in the interest of democracy and stability of the country.
He drew a parallel between the unfolding “absurdities’’ and what happened in neigbouring Bayelsa State in 2012, where Governor Timipre Sylva was forced to flee the government house in controversial circumstances.
The Second Republic governor of Kaduna State stated that the current problem have serious implications for the political career of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Balarabe said, “It is more than madness. It is another attempt to undermine democracy and further create instability in the system. Nigerians must not fold their arms and think it cannot happen. We must remember what happened to Sylva in neighbouring Bayelsa and how Jonathan treated the case of Sylva.
“But Jonathan must understand that he is indirectly trying to destroy his base and chances. He and Amaechi have said they are friends, which means there are no fundamental differences between them than the race for the 2015 presidency.
“However, if Jonathan cannot guarantee stability and peace in his constituency, which is the South-South, where else can he get support for his ambition? So, Nigerians must resist the ongoing plot in Rivers State against Amaechi.”
In his reaction, CPC national Publicity Secretary, Chief Rotimi Fasakin likened the development to an incident that occurred in the then apartheid South Africa when Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu could not help but quip: “our leaders have gone mad”
According to Fasakin, “What started as an un-managed spat between the President’s wife and the Rivers State governor has now snowballed into temporary suspension of governance in the polity.
“Undoubtedly, what is sorely needed in Nigeria at this time is an enviable leadership that is able to rise above pedantic pettiness and confront the myriad of issues besetting the Nigerian state. It is an infernal show of crudity that a President can work strenuously, using the coercive power at his disposal, to plot the illegal removal of a state governor. There is a thick plot to use five members of the state house of assembly to impeach the governor after the suspension of 27 members of the state legislature!
“We thought our nation’s democracy has progressed beyond the dark era of Obasanjo’s presidency but alas, another PDP- Federal Government has showed us that dark cloud continues to hover over the political horizon. Is this a show of incipient fascism to be expected from Jonathan’s presidency as we journey towards 2015?
“Should this not mean that the nation’s brand of Federalism is fundamentally defective?
“This is not just bullish but irresponsible politicking. It is another show of impunity which the Nigerian people must not allow to stand.”
Expressing a similar view, the Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba organisation, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin stated that the current development was a playback of how the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo treated the former governor of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye, but urged Nigerians to quickly stop those behind the said plot to impeach Amaechi.
“If that happens, it would be an encore of what Amaechi’s father figure, Obasanjo did with Dariye during his inglorious years. But that would also signal a dangerous descent into the era of impunity with reckless abandon.
“However, I’m tempted at this point to believe that the speaker just raised the alarm to stir up the ante. The suspension of 27 members by the PDP does not, in any way, mean their suspension from the assembly, as they were elected by their constituents and not the party.”
Odumakin added that “all the shenanigans going on in Rivers State are about 2015 and intra-elite fight for power and control. It is not that either of the sides holds any vision different from what is plaguing us. Amaechi in particular has been trying to curry public sympathy over the grounding of his plane without as much caring a hoot about the level of ethical collapse that makes a governor to face the public; he is flying private jets all over the place while the people of his state are wallowing in abject poverty. Nigeria is on a free fall and its shameless managers continue to nauseate more and more.”
In his reaction, chairman of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Monday Ubani said “if it is true that there is such move by the minority to impeach Governor Amaechi, it shows that the country is descending into anarchy again. Remember that it was under the government of President Obasanjo that such absurdities played out at such various state houses of assembly. We know that the courts at the appropriate time pronounced such desperate actions illegal and unconstitutional. My advice is that President Jonathan should avoid travelling on this familiar road again. It will heat up the political temperature of the country.
“However, if they dare it, I am hopeful that the Nigerian judiciary will live up to expectation by pronouncing such action unconstitutional and unlawful at the appropriate time.”
The newly sworn-in chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Felix Obuah, has denied having hands in an alleged plot to impeach the state governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
Speaking at a press briefing at the party’s state secretariat in Port Harcourt, Obuah noted that there has been only one PDP in the state with no faction, thus calling on the people of Rivers to ignore a call by the leader of the state’s Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, to protest.
Obuah said as long as he remains the leader of the PDP in the state , the governor in his own right is the leader of the entire state, explaining that his leadership of the party was never aimed at dividing it, but to further unite it and ensure nobody is left out.
He, however, charged the state governor, Amaechi, to ensure that the resources of the state are well used to take the dividends of democracy to all the people in the 23 local government areas of the state, adding that the party under his leadership would give him needed support.
On the allegations that he is working with the Abuja-based members of the PDP to ensure that the state governor is impeached from office, Obuah noted that he is a law abiding citizen and that he has not been placed in such a position to effect the removal of a state governor.
“An article being carried in the national dailies, a serious allegation being levied against me and my executive council, I have invited you here today to put the records straight. I have read in the media that I have hatched a plan to impeach the governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, I want to debunk such an allegation here that at no time have I nurtured or call any meeting of my executive or planned to impeach the governor of Rivers state.
“My intension is not to create problem in this state in any form or shape. Like I said in my inaugural speech, my aim is to bring everybody together, to form a united front to fight for the upcoming elections. I have also maintained that I will not and cannot work in isolation of the governor of Rivers State. It is on record that we have not had any disagreement that I should ask beyond my powers.
“I am a state PDP chairman, that does not give me the power to impeach a serving governor who is a product of my party, PDP. I have said we are ready to work together to move this state forward. So, wherever the allegation is coming from or whoever insinuated it for his personal interest, I am not part of it, neither have we planned such things as being alleged.
“I want to still repeat it that PDP is one family, we are calling everybody to let us join hands together to make sure that this party remains supreme. Like I have maintained, we have not come to divide the party, we have come to unite everybody.
“We are also calling on the governor to be transparent in his leadership style and carry on with his duty to make sure that the wealth of this state is used for the development of the 23 local government areas of this state.
“As a party, we will give him all the enabling environment, we will support his government, we can only disagree with him when he falls short of delivering the dividends of democracy,” Obuah said.
On the leadership of the party in the state, Obuah said he is the leader of the party in the state, while the governor is the leader of the people of the state.