New information has surfaced on the true motives for the resignation of Edison Ehie, a supporter of Rivers State governor Siminalaye Fubara and the factional speaker, from the state assembly.
It should be noted that on December 29, Ehie resigned from his role as the speaker and member of the assembly for Ahaoda East Constituency 2.
The former majority leader of the assembly submitted his resignation letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Although he did not mention the specific reason for his resignation, he expressed gratitude to his colleagues in the assembly for their positive working relationship and to his constituency for their unwavering support during his tenure in the Assembly.
Prior to the deterioration of the relationship between Fubara and Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Ehie held the position of majority leader in the State Assembly. However, he was suspended by the House after the majority of lawmakers, who are loyal to Wike, initiated an unsuccessful impeachment process against Fubara.
Shortly after his suspension, Ehie proclaimed himself as the factional speaker of the assembly, garnering support from four members. Subsequently, he obtained a court ruling acknowledging him as the genuine orator, resulting in the governor presenting the 2024 state budget to his assembly consisting of four members. Additionally, he declared the seats of the 27 pro-Wike parliamentarians as unoccupied.
However, once President Bola Tinubu intervened in the situation, Ehie’s resignation, both as speaker and as a lawmaker, was seen as the first significant event that analysts believed could be aimed at satisfying the parameters of the peace accord.
Although Ehie was unavailable for comment, a reliable source informed our reporter that the former factional speaker resigned due to pressure exerted by Wike’s camp, which intended to embarrass him upon his return to the assembly.
The anonymous source revealed that Ehie’s departure was intended to facilitate the fulfilment of the peace agreement begun between Wike and Fubara.
With the acknowledgment of the 27 assembly members who support Wike, one of the eight resolutions in the peace agreement was for Ehie to retire, leaving him with no other choice.
According to Daily Trust, it was discovered that Ehie was being considered as a potential replacement for Chidi Amadi, a devoted supporter of Wike, in the role of Chief of Staff to the governor.
If Fubara acknowledges Martins Amaehwule, Ehie’s best course of action would be to resign; otherwise, he will face a hostile House. The potential appointment of Ehie as Chief of Staff to the governor will further exacerbate the conflict between Fubara and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory. This is because the current Chief of Staff, who was appointed by the minister, is related to Wike. “The source stated that removing him and bringing in Ehie will initiate another phase of the conflict between Wike and Fubara,”
Upon being called to verify the news regarding the appointment of Ehie as Chief of Staff, Joe Johnson, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information, neither answered the phone nor provided a response to our reporter’s inquiries on the subject.
The assembly clerk asserts that Ehie was never a public speaker.
Meanwhile, the Clerk of the house, Emeka Amadi, stated in a news release in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that Ehie was not elected as the speaker of the house and hence should not have falsely claimed to have resigned from that position.
Amadi responded to Ehie’s letter to INEC by stating, “I have been instructed to request the citizens of Rivers State to ignore the deceptive assertion made in this letter, which is designed to mislead the unaware public.” The statement affirms that Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie DSSRS was never elected as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly at any point in time.
He cautioned anybody disseminating deceptive information about the House to immediately cease their actions. Additionally, he urged security services to take appropriate measures to safeguard the rule of law.