Former Commissioner of Water Resources in the Rivers State government, David Briggs, has said President Bola Tinubu threatened Governor Siminalayi Fubara into signing the peace deal with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Monday.
According to the former commissioner, Fubara signed the resolution under duress. He said the governor received indirect threats issued by President Tinubu before handing the Governor the document to sign.
Briggs said Tinubu threatened that there would be consequences, should Governor Fubara refuse to endorse and abide by the document, which he described as a “presidential proclamation”.
He said, “I was there, so I’m a witness and what I say is primary, not secondary. We were invited to a meeting but that was not a meeting, what happened is that Mr. President walked in with a written resolution, addressed us declared that what he had in his hand was a presidential proclamation, and emphasised the fact that he was the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and anybody who dares to say no to what he is saying would face the consequences.
“That, in a simple layman’s word is called a threat. Let’s get it very clear, if you are in the position of the Governor, what would you do, will you get up and go and say no to Mr President with that kind of subtle but energetic threat?
He added that most Rivers people present at the meeting, including Adokiye Amaesimaka, were shocked at the President’s attitude.
“That being the case, one of us asked him (President Tinubu) a simple question, to be specific, Adokiye Amaesimaka asked him, you said Sim should do this, Governor should do that, you have not said what the 25 or 27 assembly members that defected from PDP to APC without consulting their constituency and constituents, what they should do.
“And of course you can see the situation, the President’s reaction was very clear and simple but very dangerous.”
However, the state Commissioner for Information, Joe Johnson, on Wednesday insisted that Governor Fubara didn’t sign the peace agreement with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, under duress.
He said, “There is nothing to doubt about it, we have gone beyond the issue as to who signed and who didn’t sign, if you listen to the Governor at the Pamo University convocation ceremony yesterday, he said no price is too high for peace, and the Bible that we all profess says we should pursue peace with all men at all cost.
President Tinubu had on Monday met with Fubara and Wike, where all parties agreed to an eight-point resolution.
Some of the resolutions had directed that all impeachment proceedings against the Governor be dropped, as well as all matters instituted in courts consequent upon the crisis be dropped, among others.
Governor Fubara and Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have been in a face-off over control of the state’s political structure since October.
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