Elder Statesman and Lawyer, Robert Clarke (SAN), has said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not have any constitutional right to have waded into the Rivers State controversy and power tussle between Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike.
Clarke said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday, also saying that the idea of independent candidacy in elections, where one is free from political party affiliations, will solve majority of the political issues in Nigeria.
Responding to the question of the presence of the president’s constitutional role to intervene in state matters, Clarke said, “The constitutional role of the President in all this fracas – there should have been none. Because we were not expecting it, none has been provided for.
“The only time, the only constitution that allows the Federal government to put its mouth in a local thing is during the first republic when a declaration of emergency was declared in the west.”
He went on to say, “The president has no power, he knows that. The best legal brain cannot help him. You can’t bring Robert Clarke to come and change the law to enable the president to come and intervene. Under what constitutional provisions? So, the law by itself as of today did not provide (a constitutional right for Tinubu to intervene in State matters).”
As he further described the tussle between Fubara and his predecessor Wike, Clarke said, “The situation of godfatherism has arisen because of what we have on ground, because we don’t have independent candidates. If an independent candidate had won the Local Government election in Nigeria, will the governor call him? Which party will discipline him if he does not answer?
“The question of independent candidates if attached and fought well for will not give rise to godfatherism. So, let us try and start from that which is necessary for us to survive our matters.”
The elder statesman also said that the constitution should be amended in particular areas, saying, “Once you do those three areas in Nigeria today, I can assure you, you won’t hear about any court cases. Number one, Local government. Number two, election- who can belong to a party, and why should a party be a dominant factor in elections in Nigeria? Once we can sift these three things, this country will move forward.”
Clarke then touched on the demolition of the Rivers State House of Assembly, which was ordered by Fubara, who cited renovation as his reason for the demolition of the building. The lawyer said, “A governor cannot wake up in the morning and call his utility man, go and break that door. The man will ask him, where is the authority of the Local government? We don’t have such. The problem is that we Nigerians, we have allowed the politicians to subdue us with money, and that money is what is killing all of us. That money is killing all the elders. All the elders in Rivers State today, those who are supporting this, it’s all money, don’t listen to them.
“The violation of rights in Rivers State can be rectified by the people of Rivers State themselves. Let the big men in Rivers State, let them come out, call a rally, tell the people that we cannot continue to live when the properties of the state is being broken down by politicians.”
Source : Arise News