Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We will resist any plan to impeach Amaechi illegally- Rivers Government

The Rivers State Government has vowed to defend every shred of vote cast for its embattled governor, Rotimi Amaechi, whom the government admitted on Monday, was being targeted for impeachment apparently over his political standoff withPresident Goodluck Jonathan.

A spokesperson for the state, Ibim Semenitari, said Mr. Amaechi remains “fully in control” of the state despite an attempt by a minority number of the state lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against the governor.
“Let me just say that as far back as about two weeks ago, we had heard of rumours of a few miscreants making an attempt to hoist something that is totally undemocratic on the people of Rivers State where they would take just five members of the Rivers State House of Assembly out of 33 members and attempt an impeachment of the governor of Rivers State,’’ Ms. Semenitari, the Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communication, told journalists at a media briefing on Monday.
The commissioner said the people of the state would defend every vote cast for Mr. Amaechi and that plans by “an insignificant minority in the state assembly to remove the governor will fail”.
Ms. Semenitari spoke as protest erupted on Monday in the troubled Obio-Akpor local government area of the state, where the tussle between the governor and his state party leadership, said to be sympathetic to the president, is apparently taking toll.
The state House of Assembly, controlled by Mr. Amaechi, had suspended the chairman of the council weeks ago, drawing the wrath of the newly-installed leadership of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic party in the state.
The state lawmakers accused the council chairman, Timothy Nsirim, of financial abuse, and replaced him with a caretaker committee led by Chikodi Dike.
The new PDP leadership ordered that the decision be reversed immediately, resulting in a massive police action on Friday, in which the local government secretariat was shut off by dozens of armed personnel.
On Monday, youth from the area staged demonstrations at the state assembly complex, complaining the about refusal of the state authorities to reinstate the suspended chairman.
Ms. Semenitari said the protest by the youth to the state’s House of Assembly complex was the handiwork of “rabble rousers and hoodlums’’.
She said Chibuike Amaechi was focused and determined to take the state to greater heights.
“The governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, is in full control of the state. I know that there are no matters for concern in Rivers State,” she said.
“I am aware that a few hoodlums and rabble rousers are trying to cause disaffection in the state and trying to pretend that there is chaos in Rivers state.
“However, we are certain that there is no chaos in Rivers State and that the government is in full control of the situation and that we are briefed as at when due.”
She said investors had shown interests in the state, adding: “we have continued to talk with our business partners. Gov. Amaechi will defend the business environment of the state and we are in touch with investors.”
She said the people were already aware that only a few persons were troubling the government to satisfy their selfish interests.
The caretaker chairman of Obio/Akpor Council, Mr. Dike, said he has banned “unauthorized” gatherings in the area.
Briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, Mr. Dike said that Monday’s demonstration staged by some youths at the council secretariat in Rumuodomaya, was illegal.
He said the ban became necessary in view of the plans by some youths to use the demonstrations to cause trouble.
He said the council had informed relevant security agencies and the state government on plans by some politicians to use the youths to cause a breakdown of law and order in the area.
“To avert any mayhem, we hereby warn all groups to seek clearance from the council before embarking on any gathering.
“We have alerted security agencies and all the relevant authorities and hereby ban any unauthorized assembly,” he said.
“We call on the good people of Obio/Akpor local government and the generalpublic to be on the alert and to report any suspicious movement or large gathering.
“We wish to reassure our people of our commitment to the safety of lives and property as we encourage everyone to go about their legitimate businesses.”
Mr. Dike said the council also received intelligence report that the demonstrators planned to unleash mayhem on the pretext of expressing support for Gov. Amaechi.
He said that the governor did not authorize demonstrations in any part of the state, adding that those who protested were on their own. He urged the youth not to succumb to attempts to lure them into causing violence. (NAN)

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