Rivers, NIGERIA – What began as an impeachment threat against Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara on Monday got bizarre as a video posted on X showed police operatives firing teargas and water cannons at Mr Fubara as he walked along a road in Port Harcourt, protected by a handful of security operatives.
Some civilians, apparently the governor’s political supporters, also walked along with Mr Fubara as the police continued to fire teargas and water cannons towards the governor, who appeared undeterred.
The governor wore a brown ascot cap and a grey T-shirt.
It is unclear where he was walking to and why the police were firing at him.
“You are attacking the governor of Rivers State? Rivers State governor under attack!” a voice from the background of the video is heard shouting.
“Nothing must happen to our governor!”
Mr Fubara and his security aides kept walking for some minutes amidst the chaos until they walked into a building where the governor stopped to address the press.
“Let me say this, the good people of Rivers State. It is very very unfortunate that we should be experiencing this kind of thing again, about nine years ago when he had a similar experience,” the governor said, with his eyes looking reddish and teary.
“I got distressing information very late yesterday, and I said this morning I will come and see for myself. Everybody who knows me knows that I am a peaceful person. I can never ever, for any reason, even if I am aware that there is a plot to impeach me for whatever reason, I am not bothered about it. But I am worried that a facility like this that we used taxpayers’ money to build could be destroyed for selfish reasons just to please somebody.”
It appeared Mr Fubara was talking about an implosion that went off the House of Assembly Complex in Port Harcourt on Sunday night, hours before the lawmakers were set to begin impeachment proceedings against the governor.
Mr Fubara said security in Rivers State had been compromised. “They were shooting at me directly. But it doesn’t matter, somebody will die one day,” he said.
“I am not planning anything against anybody, but I don’t know where all things are coming from,” he added.
The Governor who described the incident as unfortunate, vowed that the masterminds would be fished out and brought to book.
“Let it be put on record, whoever masterminded this thing would face the full weight of the law,”he fumes.
“I’m calling on the security agencies to sit up because from what I am seeing the security agencies have even been compromised, they were shooting teargas at me directly.”
Fubara, who described the alleged removal of the state House of Assembly Major Leader, Edison Ehie as rubbish, explained that following the incident at the assembly chambers last night, he should have been the person to create an alternative venue for the lawmakers to sit as the head of the state government.
“I heard that some lawmakers sat here and did rubbish, that is purely rubbish, when there is a problem and you say you are doing something, what are you doing. I am the chief security officer, I’m the head of the government, I am the person that is supposed to come and declare the place and create an alternative place for the assembly to sit,”he said.
The police could not immediately comment as the spokesperson in the state, Grace Iringe-Koko did not respond to calls from our reporter.
It has been rumoured that Mr Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, who is now the minister of the Federal Capital Territory are currently at dagger drawn.
Mr Wike, against all the odds, had helped Mr Fubara, a former accountant general of the state, to succeed him as Rivers governor. Mr Fubara was not known to be involved in active politics before he contested and won the March 2023 governorship election in the state.