Akinwumi Ambode and Siminalayi Fubara, Rivers and Lagos by Tonye Barcanista

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1. In 2015, Akinwumi Ambode was elected Governor of the rich Lagos state on the platform of the ruling party in the state, APC.

Amaopusenibo Similanayi Fubara was elected Governor of oil rich Rivers State on the platform of the ruling Party in the state, PDP, in 2023.

2. Both leaders are trained accountants, and were civil servants before their gubernatorial conquest.

Ambode was the Accountant General of Lagos state, while Fubara was the Accountant General of Rivers State.

3. Both men became Governors through the political structure of dominant strongmen in their respective states that anticipated to continue to rule the states through them as proxies.

While Ambode rose through the structure of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Fubara passed through that of Nyesom Wike. The two men, Tinubu and Wike, possess enormous resources and wealth. They are both allies though officially in different parties!

4. As Governor of Lagos State, majority members of the State APC Executives, State House of Assembly, LGA and LCDA chairmen, commissioners etc were loyal to Tinubu, and were ready to do his bidding.

The same in Rivers where the majority members of the State PDP Executives, State House of Assembly, LGA chairmen, commissioners etc are loyal to Nyesom Wike, and were always at hand to do his bidding.

5. As Governor, Ambode elected to serve the people. This decision made the ‘structure’ displeased with him. To humiliate him, the ‘structure’ decided to deny him a chance for reelection to offer more to Lagos State.

A former subordinate was endorsed by almost everyone from LGAs, State Assembly even among cabinet members in his place. While Lagosians were prepared to defend Governor Ambode against the so-called ‘structure’, he chickened out and surrendered to the superiority of them, and was unceremoniously kicked out.

Upon assuming office, Governor Fubara elected to serve the people of Rivers State, and as such was accused of destroying the ‘structure’.

Just like Ambode, it was decided by the ‘structure’ that he be kicked out of office via impeachment. Twenty-six Assembly members were conscripted to carry out this unholy task, while five brave men in the House stood against it.

Governor Fubara knew that he has the support of the people of Rivers state due to his pro-people policies. He elected never to give in but to defend the mandate of the state within the ambit of the law. Rivers People displayed their love and support for the Governor by standing in solidarity with him and came through for his defence.

The 26 Assembly members switched to the APC just to intimidate the Governor, but unknown to them their action was their undoing as their seats were declared vacant by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edison Edie, in line with constitutional provisions.

The unrelenting ‘structure’ seeing that Governor Fubara and Rivers people were not backing down, employed the services of the President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who supervised the unceremonious humiliation of Ambode, to use a ‘higher’ power.

The President, under the guise of intervention, issued series of unconstitutional and unlawful directives to Governor Fubara just to cut him to size, but Rivers people became more determined to stand with their God-sent Governor.

“You are not from Rivers state, dey your dey, make we dey our dey”, the citizens boldly informed the President and the ‘structure’ in a well attended rally.

Today, Rivers State is progressing with Governor Fubara working in harmony with the brave legislators led by Rt. Hon. Ehie. Rivers civil servants are enjoying the best Christmas festivities ever with one hundred thousand naira paid by the State Government to the accounts of every one of them.

Furthermore, each political ward was given 100 bags of rice, a big cow and other items to distribute to Rivers indigenes. Students are equally happy that bursary allowance is back, while the elderly are getting their pensions and gratuity as at when due.

They must have succeeded in hounding Akinwumi Ambode out of office, but Rivers people will never allow such to happen to Governor Amaopusenibo Siminalayi Fubara. Tinubu may be the owner of the mandate in Lagos State where everyone is expected to stand on, but in Rivers State we don’t do that. The people own the mandate, and give in trust to the Governor.

Rivers no bi Lagos!

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