The political crisis in Rivers State might not come to an end anytime soon if the resolve of elected officials of Obio/Akpor Local government Council in the state not to obey Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s order dissolving the council is anything to go by.
Amaechi had on Thursday night announced the dissolution of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council through a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. George Feyii but Chairman of the council, Prince Timoth Nsirim, his deputy, Mr Solomon Eke; and the 17 councillors of the council have vowed to remain in office following their reinstatement by a Rivers State High Court ruling on Monday.
In the statement announcing the dissolution of the council in accordance with the Rivers State Local Government Law No. 2 of 2012, Gov. Amaechi directed Nsirim to hand over to the Head of Personnel Management (HPM) of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Mr. Singer Azubuike Singer.
But Nsirim, while speaking to journalists yesterday insisted that he would abide by the court judgment which re-instated him as the chairman of the council.
Adopting a tougher position on why they would not obey the governor’s dissolution order and vacate the secretariat, Vice Chairman, Mr. Solomon Eke, warned Amaechi to stop treating Rivers State like his father’s company.
He said, “Rivers state is not his (Amaechi’s) father’s company; he does not have any say as far as Obio/Akpor is concerned until he gets the court to vacate its order. The court has told him to hands off Obio/Akpor until the elected officers complete their three-year tenure. He should respect the court judgement.
“If he does not obey the court, we cannot obey whatever directives or order he gives. Whatever order he gives on Obio/Akpor will be flouted by us”.
Eke also the so-called Singer, who the chairman was directed to hand-over to, was not known to them and wondered if the head of personnel management was the highest civil servant of the council if at all they were to obey the dissolution order.
According to him, “Singer is not the highest ranking civil servant in the council. The head of local government is the highest civil servant in the council. We did not create the law. Besides, I do not know Singer. I have not seen him before. Perhaps, he is the HPM appointed by the caretaker committee. If he is a worker in the council, why did he not resume in the council when others resumed? The civil servants we know all resumed work with us when the court delivered judgment and the council secretariat was re-opened. So, I don’t know where he is coming from”.