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By – Memoye Oghu (Port Harcourt)


Rivers state Elders and Leaders Forum (RELEF) have congratulated Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his deputy, Prof(Mrs) Ngozi Odu on their victory at the Supreme Court.

The elders made the congratulations on Friday in Port Harcourt, the state capital while reading the communique of its meeting the previous day to newsmen.

Chief Gabriel Toby, former Deputy Governor of the state, who read the communiqué on behalf of the forum’s leader, Chief Rufus Ada-George and former governor of the state said that, “based on the verdict of the Supreme Court, we in this forum congratulates our governor, His Excellency Siminalayi Fubara and his deputy Prof Ngozi Odu on their victory at the various courts of law. We wish them God’s guidance, protection and speed in the administration of our dear state.

“We also congratulate the Supreme Court for this excellent, timeous determination of the electoral matters in Rivers state. The judgment, no doubt has calmed the outstanding political tension in the state and indeed in the Niger Delta.”

The communique, dated Thursday, 25 January, 2024 and signed by all members of the forum further declared that, “in this context, there is no victor, no vanguish. All we crave for at this forum is the sanctity of the law and rule of law in this country. This judgment lays to rest the era of strong men.”

The Elders and Leaders Forum called on all men and women of goodwill and responsible candour to obey the judgment because the Supreme Court, which is the apex temple of justice in Nigeria have spoken.

They however, advised the governor to continue to govern the state with the fear of God and the dictates of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as to deploy the resources of the state for the appropriate development of Rivers state.

“The apex law court in Nigeria has spoken. Let all political guns be silent for ever,” they advised, just as they urged Rivers people to continue to support the government of Sir Siminalayi Fubara.

It would be recalled that the Supreme Court had last Thursday in a majority decision threw out the appeal brought by Arch Tonye Cole, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state challenging the electoral victory of Governor Siminalayi Fubara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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