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Rivers Power Tussle: Pro-Fubara Lawmakers Ask INEC To Immediately Conduct Election To Replace Wike’s Allies At Assembly

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Wike Vs Fubara: Rivers Elders Are Behind The Governor - Secondus

The Rivers State House of Assembly, under the influence of Governor Siminalayi Fubara, has formally requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections to fill vacant seats in the legislature amid ongoing political tension in the state.

Naija News reports that this development follows a profound split with Fubara’s predecessor, Nyesom Wike, now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, which escalated into a full-blown political confrontation.

The conflict between Fubara and Wike reportedly originated from a misunderstanding over state administrative and financial matters, causing a significant rift that prevented the two from appearing together at state functions.

Tension peaked in October 2023, when an attempt by 27 pro-Wike lawmakers to impeach Governor Fubara culminated in their defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

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The pro-Fubara faction of the Assembly declared their seats vacant.

Sokari Goodboy, who now leads the faction of the House loyal to Governor Fubara, told Punch Newspaper that a letter had been sent to INEC requesting the electoral body to fill these vacancies.

“We have already written to INEC when Edison Ehie was the Speaker,” Goodboy stated.

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However, he noted that he would need to verify whether any feedback had been received from INEC.

On the other hand, an anonymous source within INEC expressed doubts about the feasibility of conducting elections for the 27 vacant constituencies, given that legal proceedings related to the lawmakers’ defection and the status of their seats are still pending.

“The commission cannot conduct fresh elections in the 27 state constituencies because some of these matters are still in court,” the source highlighted.

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Attempts to obtain official comments from INEC were unsuccessful as Sam Olumekun, the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, did not respond to inquiries.