Confusion Over LG Boss’ Resignation

Governor Chibuike Amaechi

The controversial two-day visit of wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and her disagreement with her host, Governor Chibuike Amaechi over the planned demolition of some houses surrounding the school building under construction in Okrika, her community, in Okrika local Government area of Rivers State, has claimed its first victim.

Governor Chibuike Amaechi

According to a statement signed by Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, “the Chairman of Okrika Local Government Area, Hon. Tamunokuro George Oba, has resigned his appointment with effect from Thursday, 26 August, 2010.

“In a letter addressed to the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi, Hon Oba said he was resigning after due consultations with his family and associates.

“A statement from the Office of the Secretary to the State Government said that Governor Amaechi has accepted the Chairman’s resignation. Hon. Oba is therefore to hand over all council documents and property in his possession to the Vice Chairman, Hon James Aduko.

“While thanking the immediate past chairman for his service to the council and the state, the governor wished him well in his future endeavours.”

In a text message sent to media houses, the Chairman wrote: “In view of the recent events in my local government area and after due consultations with my family and associates, I have come to the realization that the interest and peace of Okrika is far above personal interest. I hereby resign as Chairman of Okrika Local Government Council effective today, Thursday 26 August, 2010. I do hope that my decision will bring peace and development in Okrika. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve my people. I also appreciate all the council staff and close associates who supported me while in office. Thank you for accepting my resignation.”

However, less than 12 hours after he allegedly resigned, Hon. Oba was quoted on WAZOBIA FM Port Harcourt and Rhythm 93.7 Port Harcourt with insert of his voice claiming that he did not resign. He warned those peddling the rumour to desist.

The latest denial has brought about confusion and has set the state government on edge.

Informed sources close to Government House alleged that the Okrika chairman was allegedly summoned to the state executive council where he was upbraided for “organizing a civic reception for the President’s wife without the consent of the state government.”

It was at the “civic reception” that there was a public exchange of words over demolition of houses in OKrika, where Mrs. Jonathan told the governor not to always say “must…must when you are talking about demolishing people’s houses.”

Mrs. Jonathan called for a one-on-one dialogue between the owners of the structures beside the primary school and the state government.

“I am not saying they should not demolish, but what I am saying is that the local Government Chairman has to seek the opinion of the owners of that compound, contact the village head, and let them come into agreement,” the First Lady said.

Continuing, she said: “I was overwhelmed to see that the primary school is almost completed,” and she encouraged the state government to “appeal to the owners of the property” so as to reach an agreement on the issue.

“It is by pleading, it is by appeal, you appeal to the owners of that compound,” Mrs. Jonathan said and urged the Okrika people to also show understanding.

“It is by dialogue, we have to dialogue with the government, we have to come into agreement, you understand, because when you dialogue you come to agreement and see how to solve it,” she said.

Earlier, Governor Amaechi had told the First Lady that before embarking on the building of any of the school projects, it is communities that provided land free of charge to the government, since government does not choose the site of the projects.

According to him, everywhere schools are built, not just in Okrika, properties on school lands are demolished to provide a conducive environment for teaching and learning.

In his words, “you don’t mix education with family activities, because the children won’t concentrate, and you don’t need children to study in a rowdy environment.”

Governor Amaechi told the First Lady that the “responsibility of government is to ensure that we provide an environment conducive for the child to study in all our schools.”

Dr. Abiye Sekibo, former Secretary to State Government, SSG, in Dr. Peter Odili’s administration and later Minister of Transport, hails from Okrika Local Government .

He is the arrowhead of opposition to Amaechi’s government.

Observers believe that the resignation controversy is part of the bitter political rivalry between Amaechi and Dr. Sekibo.

—Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

5 COMMENTS

  1. One big problem the people of this state have is that, everybody sides for brother or sister, father or mother even when the person is wrong. To me and other residents of Rivers State, Amaechi is doing the right thing and there is no two ways about that. He has rightly said “you don’t mix education with family activities”, and that of Okirika is not exceptional. We in PH are happy with his good works and also beg every body including misconducting first lady to allow Amechi to lead the occupants of Rivers State to the next level.

  2. It is important to note, that dialogue is the most needed weapon currently now in Rivers State and the Delta, any Government office holder who will not use it, is bent on causing more problem in Rivers State. Let such Officer understand particularly that Okrika is not an easy-going territory. Let us not run again in the streets of Port Harcourt. The spirit of Servant-Leadership should apply more often than the Military type.

    However, I believe the Governor will definitely apply wisdom in handling the affairs of our God-given State.

  3. Amaechi is the worst governor to traverse the land called River State if not the entire country. He is a murderer. He it was who forged the letter of resignation. The chairman must be the first silly LGC chairman, to resign from his post in NIgeria. After killing Goerge this is what he has come out with forgery. The sad thing in Rivers state is that, election are conducted by the non-indigenes. They are the ones who want the water side houses. And its them Aamaechi is depending on to win elections. But God in his Mercy will deliver the people of Rivers State from the claws of Amaechi and Odili.

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