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Rivers federal lawmakers unite against Fubara’s plan to renovate Assembly quarters

Federal lawmakers and former Speakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly have united against the proposed renovation of Rivers State House of Assembly quarters by the state government.

In a display of solidarity with the leadership of the faction of the Assembly led by Martins Amaewhule, several federal lawmakers, including the immediate past Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Ikuinyi Ibani, vehemently opposed Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s proposed renovation of the lawmakers’ quarters.

The lawmakers representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, Kingsley Chinda, alongside Senator Olaka Nwogu, were present at a press briefing after an inspection of the quarters.

Ibani criticized Fubara’s alleged renovation plans, urging responsible management of state resources rather than the demolition of a structure previously lauded as excellent by former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, during its commissioning in 2022.

“I am here with other leaders to show me prove to the world that democracy is the best form of government, and that this is one institution that should be dependent in any Democratic setting.

“We have listened to the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Honorable Martins Chike Amaewhule, who cited several rulings of court and judgment of court in relation to what is happening in Rivers State.

“For me as former Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, see some frustration and disappointment of what is happening today.”

Also speaking, Chinda highlighted that the integrity report from a team of engineers revealed no structural deficiencies in the Assembly quarters, emphasizing the importance of preserving the building in its current state.

He said the engineers assured that the structures in the quarters have a life span of not less than 25 years.

“First, the Assembly structure that was brought down, some citizens of this state went to the United States of America to get that design, and when it was built, that was the best state assembly in this country.

“That structure is nowhere today. However, as members of National Assembly from Rivers State, we have joined our leaders and elders of the state, to discuss the issues happening in our state, the latest being the threat to bring down the structures in this premises.

“Let me say that we have commissioned engineers to study and give us the integrity of these structures.

“We have received the report. The report we got is that these structures have a life span of not less than twenty five years.

“And we have on our own come out to also physically inspect the structures to cross check the report we received, and these structures are still strong and healthy.

“I would dare to state and in the National Assembly, our apartments are not better than what we have seen here.”

According to Chinda, “public officers should be leading examples in society, both in character and in conduct.”

He advised Fubara to “bridle the exuberance we have seen within this period. It does not portend well for our state”.

On his part, Senator Olaka Nwogu emphasized that any threat to the Rivers State Assembly quarters undermines democratic principles, stating the governor’s duty to uphold law and order rather than acting against it.

“I dare say, I have never seen a thing like this. I’ve never heard of a situation where because of some sad developments that have enfolded our state in the last few months, those tasked to protect public property will be those who will destroy same properties.

“When the Rivers State House of Assembly was brought down, it was like a move to many Nigerians. That was the greatest assault to democracy.

“No matter the reasons people strive to put before things, I don’t think there is any Rivers Son or daughter that does not understand that the Assembly was brought down, simply because some persons thought their self preservation depended on blowing up that public building.

“Today, the Rivers State Assembly sits here and again they want to bring it down.

“Let me make it clear that it’s not the building that makes the parliament, it’s the members of the parliament themselves and the constitution.

“Even if you break down this place, the members can decide to sit in any place by resolution they choose to so do.”

Rivers federal lawmakers unite against Fubara’s plan to renovate Assembly quarters

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