Rivers lawmakers write Fubara to re-present 2024 budget

Lawmakers at the Rivers State House of Assembly have asked the state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, to re-present the 2024 budget for consideration in no distant time.

The lawmakers made their demands in a letter they wrote to the state governor dated January 9 and signed by the speaker of the assembly, Martin Amaewhule.

Mr Amaewhule who said the decision to write to Mr Fubara, was reached at their plenary on Tuesday where 24 members supported the motion, stated that the “2024 appropriation bill is yet to be laid before the House.”

They urged the governor “to act promptly by fulfilling the above constitutional responsibilities sooner before the House proceed on recess.”

Assembly crisis

The political battle between the governor and his predecessor who is currently the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Nyesom Wike, battered the state assembly in October after the house, loyal to the former governor, moved to impeach his successor without making public their reasons.

The Pro-Wike lawmakers also removed and suspended the majority leader, Ehie Edison, who refused to support the impeachment notice signed by majority of his colleagues.

The action of the aggrieved legislators, who later decamped to the All Progressive Congress (APC), factionalised the state assembly, prompting Mr Edison to emerge speaker of the faction loyal to the governor.

As the battle moved to the courts, Mr Edison’s camp, made up of other four lawmakers were recognised while the defectors were ordered to stop parading themselves as state lawmakers having lost their seats by decamping from the political party which sponsored their elections.

The main building in the assembly complex was bulldozed on the recommendation of experts who claimed it was unsafe for inhabitants after part of it was bombed.

Also, members of the state executive council reportedly handpicked by the former governor began resigning in droves from the cabinet of the governor who provided an alternative sitting venue for Mr Edison and his colleagues and presented the N800 billion 2024 appropriation bill hurriedly passed and assented to.

Peace deal

President Bola Tinubu intervened and brokered a widely criticised peace deal which included the withdrawal of the impeachment notice and restoration of rights and privileges for the aggrieved lawmakers.

Mr Fubara, who said nothing was too much for peace, pressured Mr Edison to step down from his position as speaker, an action that has disbanded the faction of lawmakers loyal to him.

The Pro-Wike lawmakers who have withdrawn the impeachment notice are asking the governor to re-present the budget or be accused of spending without the approval of the assembly.