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LP Has Dropped Petition Against Fubara’s Election, Says Itubo

FILES: Governor Fubara (left) and Mrs Itubo during a meeting between the duo at the Government House in Port Harcourt. Photo: Rivers Govt House. 

The Labour Party (LP) has dropped its petition against the election of Rivers State Governor Sim Fubara, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2023 poll. 

LP had challenged Fubara’s victory in the exercise with the Appeal Court in Lagos dismissing its petition and upholding the PDP candidate’s win.

But weeks after the development, LP’s governorship candidate in the election Beatrice Itubo said the party had dropped the case.

She said this in a Saturday chat with Channels Television in her Ogbakiri country home of Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“Because of the current happenings in River State, we feel that the interests of the state are far more paramount than every one of our expectations or feelings,” the LP chieftain said.

“So, we are looking at it from the angle of the people. People have said, ‘Let us allow the government to move on, let there be good governance’ and there cannot be good governance without peace.

“And so we looked at the whole scenario and we said ‘Enough is enough. Let us go back and ask our lawyers to withdraw the suit so that we can join hands with the present government to see how we can move the state forward’.”

‘Time To Stop Fighting’

Fubara’s (right) relationship with his predecessor Wike (left) has continued to strain despite President Bola Tinubu’s intervention.

According to her, all Rivers residents need to back the Fubara government to bring development to the state.

“And not just us. We are also calling on well-meaning Rivers indigenes – even those who live and work in the state, and those who do business here; everybody – to come out and support the government of Sir Sim Fubara so that we can move Rivers State to the next level because no society can develop without peace,” she said, but affirming she is still in Labour Party.

“And we need the dividends of democracy here in Rivers State. And so we are saying, yeah, we cannot continue to fight. The Bible says there’s a time to fight and a time to stop fighting. And I think this is the time to stop fighting.”

Cracks Widen

Bulldozers pull down Rivers State House of Assembly Complex on December 13, 2023

The synergy between Fubara and Itubo is the latest plot in Rivers State politics amid the political crisis rocking the oil-bearing state.

While Itubo had vowed to pursue the election petition to the highest length, insisting that the governorship election process was fraudulent, LP’s most recent move is believed to be connected to the strain between the Governor and his predecessor Nyesom Wike.

Itubo had earlier visited Fubara at the Government House in Port Harcourt as the political cracks in the South-South State widened. Already, the state house of assembly is divided into two with a group of 27 lawmakers leaving the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the wake of the defection, Governor Fubara’s government demolished the assembly complex in Port Harcourt, citing a fire incident that engulfed a section of the structure some weeks ago. He thereafter presented the 2024 budget to some lawmakers – in the absence of the 27 defectors – at the Government House.

‘Haven for Investment’

Governor Fubara speaking at the Flag-off of the construction of 20,000 housing units in Ikwerre on Friday, December 15, 2023.

But the crisis rocking the state seems unending as nine commissioners have pulled out from the Fubari cabinet owing to several reasons.

Amid the development, Fubara maintains there is no crisis in the state.

“Rivers State is a haven for investment. What we are doing today is to let the world know; not what you hear on the radio or what you see on the screen of television, ‘Rivers State is not safe, there is a crisis’,” he told a gathering at the flag off of 20,000 housing units in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.

“Rivers State is safe and secure for anybody anywhere to come and invest, your investment is safe in our hands.”

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