In a contentious turn of events, Kola Ologbondiyan, former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has strongly criticized President Bola Tinubu’s intervention in the ongoing conflict in Rivers State, characterizing it as an abuse of power.
The protracted political feud between the immediate-past Governor of Rivers State and his successor, Governor Siminalayi Fubara, has significantly disrupted governance in the state. This discord culminated in the demolition of the State House of Assembly and the defection of 27 members from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Last week witnessed a further escalation as newly appointed commissioners submitted their resignation letters to the state governor. In response to the escalating crisis, President Tinubu stepped in on Monday, December 18, 2023, to mediate between Wike and Fubara, the central figures in the Rivers crisis.
The meeting, which took place at the President’s office, resulted in an eight-point resolution signed by all parties involved. The resolution directed Governor Fubara to withdraw all lawsuits related to the Rivers crisis and resubmit the 2024 appropriation bill to the full House of Assembly. Additionally, it recognized the leadership of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the 27 members who had defected from the PDP to the APC.
However, Ologbondiyan took to Twitter on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, to condemn the resolutions, deeming them unconstitutional. He argued that, according to the law, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should conduct fresh elections for the seats of the 27 lawmakers who switched allegiance from the PDP to the APC.
In his tweet, Ologbondiyan cautioned President Tinubu against transforming the country into a banana republic where arbitrary decisions hold sway. He stated, “The Asiwaju Declarations on Rivers State are unconstitutional and a wholesome abuse of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). @inecnigeria must not be allowed to turn our nation into a banana republic where anything goes.”
Ologbondiyan had previously downplayed the impact of the defection, expressing confidence in the PDP’s resilience. In a tweet last week, he emphasized the party’s ability to withstand challenges and affirmed that the real power lies with the people.