A fresh revelation has emerged over what truly transpired in Aso Rock Villa during the peace meeting brokered by President Bola Tinubu between the Rivers State’s Governor, Siminilayi Fubara, and the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike.
Making the revelation was a former Commissioner for Water Resources in Rivers State, Chief David Briggs, who was at the meeting.
Briggs alleged that President Tinubu intimidated Governor Fubara into signing the peace agreement with Wike.
Chief Briggs said Governor Fubara signed the resolution under duress. He said there were indirect threats issued by President Tinubu before handing the governor the document to sign.
The former commissioner said he was at the Villa with other Rivers elders, who were equally invited, hence he witnessed first-hand what transpired.
He said President Tinubu threatened that there would be consequences should Governor Fubara refuse to endorse and abide by the tenets of the document which he described as a “presidential proclamation”.
‘I was there’
Briggs said: “I was there, so I’m a witness. What I say is primary, not secondary. We were invited for a meeting but that was not a meeting.
“What happened is that Mr. President walked in with a written resolution, addressed us and declared that what he has in his hand is a presidential proclamation.
“He emphasised the fact that he is 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 will you do? Will you get up and go and say no to Mr President with that kind of subtle but energetic threat?”
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He disclosed that most Rivers people who were present at the meeting including Adokiye Amaesimaka were shocked at the President’s attitude and decided to ask questions.
“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 who defected from PDP to APC without consulting their constituencies and constituents, should do’.
“And of course, you can see the situation, the President’s reaction was very clear and simple but very dangerous.”
Recall that Governor Fubara and Wike have been at loggerheads over who should control the state’s political structure since October. This has since put the state in serious tension.
Some of the resolutions issued by the President 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 numerous others which favour the Wike camp.
Nevertheless, the state Commissioner for Information, Joe Johnson, had insisted that Governor Fubara didn’t sign the peace agreement with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike under duress.
Johnson, who spoke on Wednesday in a television programme, explained that he was at the meeting and did not see the governor negotiate from a position of weakness.
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 (Tuesday), 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.
“I was in that meeting and for anybody to say the Governor was negotiating from a weak position is an overstatement and I take exception to it.”