As June 17 approaches, ex-militant warns Wike’s key ally

As June 17 approaches, ex-militant warns Wike’s key ally
By: Business Posted On: June 09, 2024 View: 6

…Is it substance or mere ranting?

…What is at stake?

There is apprehension in the air in Rivers State as the epochs of one year anniversary recede in the back skies of the ocean giving birth to the dreaded ‘Ides of June’.

This represents the period that the tenure of the 23 local council leaderships in the state would end and a new team ought to take over. The problem is that the new team is not known yet.

The constitution provided when the local council election timetable ought to be out, and if this did not happen, there would be no election. The time came and went and there was no timetable.

The state has been in turmoil since October 2023 when an attempt was made to impeach Governor Fubara. The Rivers State House of Assembly where the move started suffered fire attack, and was later demolished. The governor said it was to rebuild it.

The House was divided into those that supported the Wike-backed impeachment and those that opposed said to be Fubara backed lawmakers. The impeachment group or Wike group were 27, and the naysayers were four. This pitched the state into war against both camps now known as the Wike versus the Fubara camps.

Many ugly things happened. The House was controlled by Wike but Fubara moved to get the four to form the new House. Those that defected were treated as non-members for crossing carpet when there was no division in their party (PDP).

The cabinet was equally divided until the Wike camp in the cabinet left and has been replaced by all Fubara men and women.

Now, the local councils are the next frontier. The 27 defected lawmakers initiated a bill, passed it, and signed it into law, saying the local council chairmen and councilors would stay on for initial additional six months. The Fubara camp called it term elongation and rejected it. The Wike camp vowed that it must be so. It was at this point that some vocal council chairmen like Sam Nwanosike of Ikwerre LGA and Chidi Llyod of Emohua LGA began to speak and act tough.

This created what many now called ‘the Ides of June’, because on June 18, one day after end of their tenure, the world would stand to see whether the council men would retain power or the governor would replace them.

This battle would mean much in assessing between Wike and his god son Fubara who now controls the state. Wike has majority in the parliament, Fubara has majority in the cabinet; it seems to be the local council level that may decide the dice.

General Asabuja appears

Nwanosike, popularly called Ishi, was quoted to have vowed never to quit on June 17. He was said to have threatened Fubara and his men to dare come to unseat him. This was when a video went viral, countering the threat.

In an interview, one huge man appeared and stated thus: “My name is General Gabriel Asabuja, the Masquerade of Niger Delta. I am not happy anymore and I must speak out. I have been silent for too long. But that is not out of fear. We are talking about Ishi (Samuel Nwanosike, the Ikwerre Local Council chairman of Rivers State). We say, send your cockroach day or night, we are waiting. Sorry will be your name.

“I do not fear, am a warlord, and a leader. My worry is the insult from Nwanosike. He once insulted former governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. He equally insulted Asari Dokubo, leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force. Nwanosike called Asari ‘small boy’. Now, he is insulting His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara. Why is he doing all this and nobody is talking? Ishi knows me from university, in the streets, etc.

“He has not held tools (arms). Now, because he has power as a local council boss, the power that the former governor Nyesom Wike gave him, he insults everybody, and because he works with Wike.

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“He is threatening the governor, saying let them come (June 18, 2024, the expiration of his tenure.

“I wish the state government can appoint me something in Ikwerre local council to go and collect power, they can even make me an adviser to the incoming council chairman, then see what will happen. I will ask the police to stay away and watch us.

“Nwanosike thinks it is about grabbing all the money, acquire and acquire, build and build, and amass wealth, and give the boys peanuts. Let him meet me man to man. I say, let thunder fire him, let God punish him.

“He was a boy just yesterday but because then Governor Wike gave him position of power, he is blowing up his ego.

“Is he a warlord, has they played Egbesu music, Ijaw music or Ikwerre music for him?

“Look, we are behind Gov Fubara: the Ijaws, the Ikwerres, etc. They (Wike) asked us to vote for Fubara and we did. We stand with him, and I stand with him, if others don’t.

“I do not fear any person because one does not die twice. Yes, we have recanted and we now stay quiet, but that should not be why somebody will be insulting his seniors and warlords.

“Nwanosike has no tools (arms), and has not handled tools before. He has no walking stick (rifles). I ask the monarch (believed to be HRM Ateke Tom), I ask Asari Dokubo, I ask the youths, should we keep quiet for this boy?”

Efforts to get reactions from Nwanosike or his backers proved abortive so far.

Unmasking Gen Asabuja:

Many kept asking who this man was that dabbled into such a big matter. There was thus effort to confirm the identity of this man threatening the council chairman. Findings showed that ‘Gen’ Gabriel Asabuja was head of Operations of Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) under Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo. He held a prominent position in MEND, sources said.

By this, his capacity in that direction may not be in doubt. Some sources however say he may be out to gain relevance or popularity.

No matter what, many say it is Ishi that attracted such threats. Now that the wave seems to be toward Fubara, most persons now offer one service or the other to him. Many want to help him remove obstacles on his way.

Asari had made his own road show, throwing tantrums and threats against opponents of Fubara. He had described Fubara as an Ijaw son that must be protected in the ‘Asawana’ fashion. This may have stirred other ‘Asawana’ brotherhoods to raise their fingers in case help was needed.

Rivers State has always been a state where each governor must declare his policy on youths and bad boys. Peter Odili settled the boys, Amaechi shunned the boys, Wike worked with ‘youths’ recruited under GDI. Now, what will Fubara do?

Conclusion

As June 18 draws nearer, the air is pregnant. Who will govern the 23 local council areas that day- the Wike boys (old local council chairmen) or the Fubara ninjas (administrators to be appointed)? Whoever rules would have to stay in power for proper local council elections to hold. It is believed that such persons would deliver their local councils to elected executives that would rule in the interest of who put him there.

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