Rivers political crisis could snowball into nationwide instability, PDP governors warn

The Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF) says the unity, peace and tranquillity of the country transcends politics and political leaning as the ruling party in Rivers battles fierce internal wrangling with an attempt to remove Governor Siminalayi Fubara by state lawmakers loyal to FCT minister Nyesom Wike.

The forum said this in a statement by its director-general, CID Maduabum, in Abuja on Thursday.

Mr Maduabum added that the political crisis in Rivers was not just a PDP but a national affair. He said the clarification was necessary following some speculative media reports on the forum’s commendation of President Bola Tinubu’s intervention in the crisis.

“For the avoidance of doubts and to clarify the sequence of events, it was the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, an APC governor, that took leadership in intimating Mr President of the situation in Rivers.

“All the governors of 36 states supported the move. In particular, the chairman of the PDP-GF, (Bala) Mohammed, lent his weight and support to the move and President Tinubu agreed to intervene as requested. It should be noted that Governor Siminalayi Fubara is a member of the NGF and the Vice-Chairman of the PDP-GF,” Mr Maduabum explained.

The PDP-GF director-general said it was most disingenuous for some people to lampoon the courtesies extended to Mr Tinubu for his intervention.

Mr Maduabum said the events that played out in Rivers had national security implications and potential to lead to a breakdown of law and order.

“Indeed, the Rivers police command acknowledged as much in its statement issued on Wednesday, November 1. Mr President, as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and effectively the chief security officer of the nation, had to intervene to nip the crises in the bud,” he noted.

Mr Maduabum warned that Nigeria’s history “is replete with instances where development in one state could snowball and affect the whole country,” noting that Rivers is a major oil-producing state and “a breach of peace in Rivers state, considering its strategic value and importance, no doubt, could affect other states of the federation.”

The PDP chieftain said it was a sign of good leadership that Mr Mohammed summoned an emergency meeting of the PDP-GF immediately in the wake of the Rivers political turmoil.

“There is no way Mohammed, being a lover of peace in all parts of the country, could fold his hands and fail to act or appreciate the good efforts of the president in finding a solution to the crisis,” stated Mr Maduabum.