A Rivers Elders’ Forum member, David Briggs, has accused President Bola Tinubu of forcing a resolution on Governor Siminalayi Fubara regarding the state’s political crisis.
Briggs, who attended the meeting at the Presidential Villa, alleged that Fubara signed the document under duress after threats from the President.
SPY NIGERIA recalls that President Tinubu convened a meeting on Monday with Governor Fubara, former Governor, Nyesom Wike, and stakeholders to tackle the ongoing tensions in Rivers State.
The President instructed that all court cases related to the crisis initiated by the governor’s team be withdrawn.
In an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt, Briggs contended that Fubara was compelled to agree to the resolution without proper consultation.
He stated, “I was there, so what I say is primary, not secondary. We were invited to a meeting, but that was not a meeting. What happened is that Mr President walked in with a written resolution, addressed us, and declared that what he had in his hand was a presidential proclamation; therefore, he could whip.
“He emphasised the fact that he is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and anybody who tends to say no to what he is saying it has consequences. That, in a simple layman’s words, is a threat. He (Tinubu) wrote the resolution but refused to read it. He handed the resolution to Dr Peter Odili to read.
Now let’s get it very clear. If you were in the position of the governor, what would you do? Get up and go? Say no to Mr President with that kind of subtle but energetic threat?”
The former commissioner also said most Rivers people present at the meeting, including former Attorney-General of the State and Justice Commissioner, Adokiye Amiesimaka, were shocked by the President’s undemocratic attitude and decided to ask questions.
One of us, specifically Amiesimaka asked him, “Fubara should do this, he should do that. You (referring to the President) have not said what those 25 or 27 Assembly members that defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress without consulting their constituency and constituents what they should do.
“The President’s reaction was very clear and simple. I’m the leader of the APC in Nigeria. And you are telling me when babies are born into my family I should ask them to go.”
Briggs, however, said there may be plans to ensure that Fubara defects to the APC, even as he commended the governor for displaying maturity during the meeting.
He added, “I’m thinking that the governor should have by now joined the APC; then there will be no impeachment. “What Tinubu did and I can say it was establish his own party interest while arbitrating of peace in Rivers State.
“And of course you can see the situation, the President’s reaction was very clear and simple, but very dangerous. Realising that back home you are fighting an internal aggression and division, if you are in his (Fubara’s) position, will you want to attract another external fight? The answer is no.
“So, you see that our governor is very intelligent, very humble but very intelligent. Not just intelligent but committed to the value of governance.
He (Tinubu) gave that order and asked them to sign. And the governor simply made the statement. The statement itself is full of wisdom. That of the President is also full of wisdom because he was operating within the space provided for him by his advisers.”