Nigerians woke up to a disturbing video of police officers harassing Rivers state governor, Sim Fubara, in Port Harcourt. Fubara was reportedly on his way to the House of Assembly to stall the impeachment proceedings against him.

FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, and Governor Fubara.

Source: Sim Media Volunteers

This event has people pointing fingers at former governor, Nyesom Wike. Here’s what we’ve gathered so far.

What happened?

On Sunday, October 19, 2023, multiple reports surfaced of a fire outbreak at the Rivers State House of Assembly complex around 10 p.m. The fire consumed a portion of the complex before firefighters arrived at the venue and brought the situation under control.

The outbreak happened amid rumours of lawmakers making moves to impeach Governor Fubara who was elected into office in March 2023.

On Monday, October 30, a video circulating on social media showed police officers firing teargas and water canons at Governor Fubara as he walked along a road in Port-Harcourt.

“You are attacking the governor of Rivers State? Rivers State governor under attack,” an individual shouted in the now-viral video.

Fubara was reportedly heading to the HOA to assess the fire incident and stop the impeachment proceedings against him. Reports indicate that 24 lawmakers of the state house of assembly had signed an impeachment notice and sent it to the governor.

A different video saw the governor in a safer and more stable condition as he addressed some of his supporters.

“From what I’ve seen, the security is even compromised. They were shooting at me. This operation was shooting at me directly, but it doesn’t matter.”

The governor declared that whatever actions had been taken by members of the assembly were null and void.

History with former Governor Nyesom Wike

Nyesom Wike significantly supported Fubara, a former accountant general of the state, during his bid to become the Rivers State governor. Before he won the election in March 2023, Fubara was not an active player in Rivers politics.

On Sunday, May 28, during a thanksgiving service to mark the end of his tenure, he told Fubara he would not disturb his administration.

“We will not disturb you from running your administration, but we will not allow you to make us cry. We want you to succeed more than us so that when we are passing on the road, we will raise our shoulders and say we told you that he would do better than us.”

Fast forward to October 2023, reports indicate a rift between the governor and his predecessor who is now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. Abdul Rasheeth, a media aide to former VP, Atiku Abubakar, alleged in a post shared on X that Wike had a hand in the impeachment move against Fubara by Rivers lawmakers.

“Wike wants to use the House of Assembly to impeach Gov. Fubara for his selfish reasons. Sim Fubara has been enduring the excesses of Nyesom Wike but cannot take it any longer.”

Rasheeth claimed Fubara almost resigned his position as governor but “because the deputy is loyal to Felix Obuah, the former state chairman of PDP, he was asked to sheathe his sword.”

He also claimed the recent confusion in Rivers HOA is a result of the move to remove the leader of the house, Ehie Edison, who is strongly against the idea of impeaching Sim Fubara.

Elder statesman, Edwin Clark, weighs in

Chief Edwin Clark, elder statesman and leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) commented on the developments in Rivers state over the last 48 hours at a media briefing in Abuja.

Chief Clark called on President Bola Tinubu to caution Wike and the security forces in Rivers. “I have been reliably informed that there is a plot to unlawfully remove Governor Siminalaye Fubara of Rivers State, who has spent only about five months in office,” he said.

“I understand the sad episode is being orchestrated by the immediate past Governor of Rivers State and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Nyesom Wike.

“And that the intention is to remove the Governor, force his deputy, Professor Ngozi Odu to resign, and install the Speaker of the House of Assembly, another Ikwerre person, as the governor of the state.”

What’s the current situation?

Governor Fubara addressed his supporters at the HOA complex shortly after the assault. The governor stressed that he has done nothing to warrant an impeachment from office.

“Let them come out and tell Rivers people the offence I have committed to warrant any impeachment. Let me assure the people of Rivers that I will continue to ensure that you get the dividends of democracy. At the appropriate time, I will address the press.”

This is a developing story.

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