Six of the 18 commissioners yesterday quit Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s Executive Council, complicating the political imbroglio in the state.
Also yesterday, the 27 members of the House of Assembly, who on Monday defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), sat at the auditorium of the Assembly quarters.
This is despite the demolition of the House of Assembly complex by the government and an ex-parte injunction granted by Justice Justice M.W. Danagogo.
On Tuesday, relying on the injunction, four members of the House met, received and passed Governor Fubara’s 2024 Appropriation Bill.
The governor signed the Bill yesterday.
As the Appropriation Bill signing ceremony was underway, the news of the resignation of key commissioners, including Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor filtered in.
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Adangor’s resignation letter dated November 24 and addressed to the governor, reads: “I hereby give Your Excellency notice of my resignation as the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Rivers State with effect from the date of this letter.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the resignation is based purely on personal principles.
“I wish to thank Your Excellency for the opportunity and privilege granted me in your administration to serve as a member of your cabinet (exco).
“My family and I are indebted to Your Excellency in gratitude. I wish Your Excellency a successful tenure.”
A long-time friend of Wike, Adanor was among the first set of Fubara’s appointees.
He occupied the same position when the FCT minister was governor.
Others who resigned are George Kelly-Alabor (Works), Isaac Kamalu (Finance), Emeka Woke (Special Duties), Inime Aguma (Special Welfare and Rehabilitation) and Prince Chinedu Nmom (Education).
Kelly-Alabor, who held the same position during Wike’s administration, said his decision to quit was anchored on conscience, personal principles and professional ethics.
While thanking Fubara for the opportunity to serve the state, he said he decided to resign after deep introspection.
Woke, who was the Chief of Staff under Wike’s administration, confirmed his resignation, but did not give a reason.
Aguma cited personal matters and “other pressing commitments..”
Governor signs N800b budget
Fubara yesterday signed the state’s N800 billion Appropriation Bill.
The ceremony took place a day after he presented the 2024 financial estimates to a group of four lawmakers, led by Edison Ehie.
The event was also held a day after the government rolled in caterpillars to demolish the Assembly complex to prevent 27 other lawmakers loyal to Wike from sitting in the chamber.
While the signing of the budget was ongoing, the 27 pro-Wike lawmakers gathered at the auditorium of their Legislative Quarters where they passed two bills.
In the “Budget of Consolidation,” the governor proposed over N410 billion as capital expenditure and N361 billion for recurrent projects.
Governance has the largest chunk of N161 billion, followed by Infrastructure, N128 billion.
Education got N40 billion, Agriculture, N20 billion and Investment, N1 billion.
The governor assured that his administration holds a lot of hope for the people of the state, in line with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
He noted that with the budget providing a framework for spending in 2024, his administration would undertake notable critical road projects that will connect more communities across many local governments to meet age long yearnings of Rivers people.