Rivers Crisis: According to Robert Clarke, Tinubu lacks constitutional authority to meddle in state affairs.
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Rivers Crisis: According to Robert Clarke, Tinubu lacks constitutional authority to meddle in state affairs.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Robert Clarke, asserted that President Bola Tinubu lacks a constitutional mandate to intervene in the political conflict between Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Nyesom Wike.

During an interview with Arise Television on Tuesday, Clarke emphasized that there is no constitutional provision for the President’s involvement in such local disputes. He explained, “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.”

Clarke pointed out that the only instance allowing federal government interference in local matters occurred during the first republic when a state of emergency was declared in the west. He maintained that the current law does not grant Tinubu the constitutional authority to intervene in state affairs.

Addressing the issue of godfatherism, Clarke attributed its existence to the absence of independent candidates in elections. He suggested that allowing independent candidates could eliminate the power dynamics associated with godfatherism.

Calling for constitutional amendments in specific areas, Clarke outlined three key aspects: local government, election procedures, and party dominance in elections. He expressed confidence that addressing these areas would lead to a reduction in court cases and contribute to the country’s progress.

Regarding the demolition of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Clarke criticized the arbitrary exercise of power by governors. He highlighted the lack of authority for such actions and emphasized the need for citizens to stand up against political excesses. Clarke concluded by urging the people of Rivers State to rally against the violation of their rights and political manipulation, emphasizing the importance of unity in safeguarding the state’s interests.

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