Fubara takes over as Chairman of Rivers Traditional Rulers Council, replacing Wike’s Ally Awuse.

The Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has named Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, King of Apara Kingdom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, to chair the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers.

Eze Wodo, who recently visited Governor Fubara to promise his support for his administration, will succeed King Sergeant Awuse, the former governor’s friend.

Former Governor Nyesom Wike hails from the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

Awuse, a well-known politician, was appointed traditional king of the Emohua Kingdom in the Emohua Local Government Area two years ago.

Despite being new to the prestigious Council of Traditional Rulers, former Governor Nyesom Wike introduced Awuse, a long-time supporter, as the council’s chairman during a banquet marking the end of his term.

Awuse completed his first year as a traditional ruler in June of last year while serving as Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers, a position he assumed from the King of Opobo, where Governor Fubara is from.

At a meeting with government-classified traditional rulers at the Government House today, Governor Fubara stated that the nomination of a new chairman is owing to the council’s “inactivity and absence of effective leadership under Eze Ohna Sergeant Chidi Awuse.”

The governor accused Awuse of failing to steer the council’s affairs properly and of failing to foster positive connections among members and with the state administration.

Governor Fubara stated that under Eze Sergeat Awuse, the council created a calendar for the year 2024 that disrespected the state government by purposefully omitting photos of the governor and deputy governor.

He claimed that such behaviour, among others, indicated that the council under his leadership had failed to meet expectations and would never do so.

He stated, “I want the council to live up to its obligation. According to my observations, the council is defunct. So, I have the impression that the council has been largely dormant for some time. Inactive because the chairman may have elected not to be responsible as chairman. I believe that is the greatest way to express it.

“I’m not going to talk about other things that have happened. But I believe the chairman has obligations, which I have not felt thus far, and you can speak to the fact that you are not seeing the leadership that you expect.

“I’d want to call your attention to a unique insult delivered to this government. The council created a calendar for the year of our Lord 2024, however neither the Governor nor the Deputy Governor’s pictures appear on it.

“I’d like to ask you: is there any evidence that the leadership is collaborating with this government? I hope you have a copy of it. Is it clear that your chairman is working with this government?

“So, I determined today that we needed to move forward. By God’s special grace, the chairman’s administrative life-span is one year, renewable. So, at this point, with the authority granted to me, I announce that Chief Sergeant Awuse’s tenure has been terminated.”

Governor Fubara stated that if peace is not effectively coordinated with traditional rulers, who are closer to the people, it will be difficult to create the necessary harmony and coexistence among the people during this important period of his administration.

The Governor also stated that a more competent and diligent traditional ruler with the presence of mind and ability to carry everyone along was required, emphasising that Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, with his fatherly personality, mature character, integrity, and pedigree, best fits that bill.

Governor Fubara highlighted that the Eze Apara Kingdom can also reach out to all traditional rulers, elicit their participation, and provide the council with the direction it requires.

“So, going forward, there is a need for leadership that will accommodate everyone while also moving this council forward.”

“Before I say anything more, let me declare that Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, Eze Ohna Apara, Paramount Ruler of Apara Kingdom, will be the new chairman as of this moment. He will be the head of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, and I am confident that he would perform well and accommodate everyone.”

Governor Fubara stated, “Traditional rulers are the closest to our people. If we want peace in the society, we need to cooperate with the traditional rulers. And our administration prioritises peace. So, I want each and every one of you to work together to keep our communities peaceful.

“Let me request from our new chairman that: please, as we leave here, there is every need for you to call for a meeting immediately and commence the process of uniting the council.”

Governor Fubara recounted how a past governor of the State had strongly admonished a traditional ruler in Ahoada East Local Government Area during a public event, but stated that he would not follow suit.

Instead, the Governor stated that as a respecter of elders, he will appeal to all traditional rulers to assure cooperation with the State Government.

Governor Fubara stated that such cooperation, regardless of party affiliation, will preserve peace in your domains and promote a stronger and more united Rivers State.

He stated, “I am not concerned or interested in your party connections, but when it comes to council issues that should bring you together, your decisions should and must be in the direction of government.

“If you do anything outside, that is your responsibility, but you cannot, I repeat, when it comes to council problems, the government has recognised you as a member, and you cannot go against the government; it is wrong.

“You can be whatever you want, but you must work in our best interests as a state and government. I recall that when we travelled to Ahoada-East in Ekpeye area to participate in an activity, a previous Governor publicly threatened one of you, saying that if you tried it, I would do this and that.

“But I won’t warn any of you since you’re our fathers. I will ask you to please provide us with all of the necessary assistance and collaboration so that we can create a united state that we can all be proud of.

“Let me appeal to all of us: today is an opportunity that God has given to Eze Chike Worlu Wodo.” Tomorrow, it could be someone else’s. You need to respect him. You must provide him with the resources he requires to succeed, so that when it is your turn, you will have the same support.”

Governor Fubara promised to solve the matter of providing official vehicles and other perks to traditional rulers as soon as possible.

The Governor also urged the new chairman to begin updating the records of all First, Second, and Third Class traditional rulers in the State and making them available to his office by next Tuesday.

In his acceptance statement, the new Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Chike Worlu Wodo, the Eze Ohna Apara, Paramount Ruler of Apara Kingdom, expressed his excitement at the opportunity to serve the State in this capacity.

Eze Wodo promised to promote unity, devote his time and attention to the task at hand, and collaborate with other council members to ensure peace in their respective domains.

He also assured the council’s preparedness to collaborate with the State Government to promote peace and harmony in the communities, hence accelerating the State’s development.



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