HomeNewsFubara's Cabinet Reshuffle: A Peaceful Resolution?

Fubara’s Cabinet Reshuffle: A Peaceful Resolution?

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Rivers State, Nigeria — In a surprising move, Governor Siminalayi Fubara has reappointed nine former commissioners who resigned from his cabinet amid a power struggle with his predecessor and former ally, Nyesom Wike.

The reappointment of the commissioners, who are loyal to Wike, was announced on Monday by the Rivers State House of Assembly, which invited them for fresh screening.

The decision was part of an eight-point resolution reached at a mediation meeting in Abuja, headed by President Bola Tinubu, to end the political impasse that has rocked the oil-rich state since 2023.

 

A Bitter Rivalry

The feud between Fubara and Wike dates back to 2023, when Fubara succeeded Wike as the governor of Rivers State, after serving as his deputy for four years.

Both men belong to the same party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which has dominated the state’s politics since 1999.

However, soon after taking office, Fubara began to distance himself from Wike, who is widely seen as a kingmaker and a potential presidential candidate in 2024.

Fubara accused Wike of interfering in his administration and trying to impose his loyalists on key positions. He also alleged that Wike had mismanaged the state’s resources and left behind huge debts.

Wike, on the other hand, accused Fubara of being ungrateful and betraying the trust he had in him. He also claimed that Fubara was working with the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) to undermine his legacy and influence.

The rift between the two leaders escalated in 2023, when Fubara presented and signed the 2024 budget without the approval of the majority of the lawmakers, who are aligned with Wike.

This led to a series of protests, court cases, and defections that threatened the stability and security of the state.

 

A Peaceful Solution?

The intervention of President Tinubu, who is also the leader of the APC, was seen as a last-ditch effort to resolve the crisis and prevent further violence.

According to the agreement, Fubara was to reappoint the pro-Wike commissioners who resigned from his cabinet, present the 2024 budget afresh to the legislature, and consult with Wike on major policy decisions.

Wike, in turn, was to withdraw all legal actions against Fubara, support his administration, and refrain from making inflammatory statements.

The reappointment of the commissioners was the first step in implementing the agreement, which was welcomed by many stakeholders and observers as a sign of hope and reconciliation.

The commissioners, who had previously served under Wike, include Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), Dr. Jacobson Mbina, Dr. Gift Worlu, Mrs Inime Chinwenwo-Aguma, Engr. Chukwuemeka Woke, Prof. Prince Chinedu Mmom, Dr. George Des-Kelly, Hon. Isaac Kamalu, and Engr. Austin Chioma.

They are expected to resume their duties after being screened and confirmed by the assembly on Wednesday.

 

A Lasting Peace?

While the reappointment of the commissioners may have eased the tension in the state, some analysts and critics have expressed doubts about the durability and sincerity of the peace deal.

They argue that the agreement does not address the root causes of the conflict, such as personal ambitions, ego clashes, and ideological differences between Fubara and Wike.

They also point out that the agreement may be undermined by external factors, such as the upcoming 2024 elections, the interests of other political actors, and the volatility of the state’s politics.

Therefore, they urge both leaders to show genuine commitment and goodwill to sustain the peace and work together for the benefit of the people of Rivers State.

 

Source: Punch

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