The crises rocking the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has assumed new dimensions as it has now been taken to the floor of the House of Representatives. On Thursday, lawmakers from the state disagreed over the occupation of the assembly by men of the Nigerian police.
Mr. Sokonte Davies, who is a member from the state, earlier raised a motion asking the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to withdraw his men from the state assembly complex in Port Harcourt.
Mr Sokonte, who hails from Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency, said the police presence was provocative, was supposed to help pave way for an emergency rule in the state.
“We cannot understand why the police are occupying the state House of Assembly without justification. This is to provoke chaos so that a state of emergency will be declared in Rivers State,” he said.
But, in a swift reaction Mr Kingsley Chinda, countered Mr Davies, saying the police were at the Assembly to protect lives and property.
“The policemen are stationed in places where they suspect that there may be violence. I am urging the House to vote away this prayer outright. Let the police be allowed to perform their duties,” he said.
Mr Kingsley, who represents Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, moved a separate motion condemning the dissolution of Obiakpo Local Government by Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
He said, “That act was an abuse of executive powers by the Rivers State Governor. He dissolved the council, removed the chairman, vice-chairman and 17 democratically elected councilors.
“The governor imposed a caretaker committee on the local government.
“It is an abuse of the 1999 Constitution, which guarantees protection for elected councils.”
However, a member from Imo State, Mr. Nnana Igbokwe, intervened in the matter, defending the dissolution of the council on the grounds that the state government acted on a law passed by its legislature to sack the council.
“Section 4(7) of the constitution empowers the House of Assembly of a state to make laws for the good governance of the state. The state acted on a law of the state assembly to dissolve the councils,” he stated.
Igbokwe cautioned the House against taking a hasty decision on the issue, suggesting a judicial interpretation as the solution.
“The best solution is a judicial interpretation; let the parties go to court,” he said.