Rivers Assembly Complex Demolished, Fubara Presents Budget At Govt House 

Governor Fubara led a convoy of about 10 bulldozers to demolish the Assembly complex.

Photo illustration of bulldozers pulling down Rivers State House of Assembly Complex (L); and Governor Siminalayi Fubara (R) presenting the N800bn 2024 budget estimates before the Edison Ehie-led group of the Assembly at the Government House on December 13, 2023


Intrigues continue to trail the political crisis in Rivers State as the state House of Assembly Complex was on Wednesday demolished.

This was as Governor Siminalayi Fubara presented the N800bn 2024 budget estimates to the Edison Ehie-led group at the Government House the same moment the demolition was carried out.

Ehie and Martins Amaewhule have been embroiled in a Speakership tussle which is in court.

The presentation of the budget was held at a hall in the Government House, apparently, due to the “renovation” work at the state assembly complex which started Wednesday morning.



Present at the budget presentation were members of the House loyal to Ehie. None of the members who recently moved from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was in attendance.


The hall during the budget presentation at the Rivers State Government House on December 13, 2023


Also present were a former speaker of the House, Adams Dabotorudinma; and former Deputy Speaker, Marshal Uwom.



Fubara Leads Demolition Exercise

The demolition of the complex was carried out by the state government.

The Complex was demolished amid tight security about two months after fire gutted the complex.

The demolition exercise started at about 6:45am with the state governor leading a convoy consisting of about 10 bulldozers carried on heavy-duty flatbed lorries into the Assembly premises.

Security presence along Moscow road was very tight, with both sides of the road completely cordoned off and blocked to vehicular traffic.

However there was no repeat of the actions of October 30 when the governor was tear-gassed as the policemen allowed foot traffic in and out of the street.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Tunji Disu, has convened a security meeting at the Command headquarters with a briefing promised later today.

So far, most facilities on Moscow road remained open.

‘No Longer Habitable’

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government said the renovation of the State House of Assembly Complex was carried out on the advice of consultants, who warned that the building is no longer habitable.

The government said the advice to demolish and restructure the building was predicated on the recent fire that engulfed the allowed chambers and the need to strengthen the long existing complex.

The Commissioner for Information, Joe Johnson, stated this on the sidelines of the presentation of the 2024 budget at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

He said the government hopes to give the renovation accelerated hearing.

Mass Defections, Alliances

Twenty-seven members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Monday, had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).


The 27 lawmakers wave APC flag after a meeting at the Assembly Complex on Monday, December 11, 2023


The 27 members were said to be loyal to Amaewhule, who is an ally of Nyesom Wike, a former governor of the state till May 29, 2023.

The defection of the lawmakers was said to be a direct response to a mass exodus of some grassroot politicians from the APC and Social Democratic Party (SDP) to the PDP last weekend.

Leading the defectors from the SDP and the APC were the deputy governorship candidate of the SDP in the 2023 election, Patricia Ogbonnaya; and former Ahoada-West Chairman, Karibo Wilson.

The politicians dumped their former parties to pitch tent with the PDP group loyal to Fubara.



Similarly, Labour Party (LP)’s 2023 Governorship Candidate in the state, Beatrice Itubo, initiated solidarity talks with Fubara earlier this week as the pressure mounts on the governor.


Governor Siminalayi Fubara (L) and LP’s Beatrice Itubo (R) at a meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital

Godfatherism At Play?

The crisis in the 32-member Assembly had begun as a result of a rift between Fubara and his predecessor, Wike.


Photo illustration of Rivers State Assembly Complex. Insets: Governor Siminalayi Fubara (L) with FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike (R)


In October, the Assembly under Amaewhule served an impeachment notice on Fubara and removed Ehie as the House leader. However, some members of the Assembly loyal to Fubara immediately impeached Amaewhule and made Ehie the new Speaker.


COMBO: Martin Amaewhule and Edison Ehie


A Rivers High Court sitting in Port Harcourt subsequently restrained the Amaewhule-led group from forcefully gaining access into the assembly complex, pending the hearing of the suit before it.

Wike had revealed his grouse with his successor, saying Fubara hobnobbed with some of his political enemies after getting into office. The FCT minister had described the governor as an ingrate, who wants to hijack his “political structure” in the state.



The ex-governor had also accused his successor of burning the state Assembly complex to prevent his impeachment, an allegation the governor denied.

However, Fubara had apologised and said Wike would continue to be his principal.



Also, President Bola Tinubu and PDP governors had intervened but there seemed to be no end in sight to the political upheaval in the oil-rich South-South state.

Meanwhile, elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has again urged the President to call Wike, the current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to order over the political situation in Rivers State.


COMBO PHOTO of Chief Edwin Clark (L) and Minister Nyesom Wike (R)


Clark, the nonagenarian leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), accused Wike of godfatherism, saying if all former governors insist on controlling their successors, there will be chaos in the country.