Rivers council chairpersons accuse Fubara of withholding LGAs funds

Kenneth Ibinabo
Kenneth Ibinabo
Siminalaya Fubara

The Rivers chapter of the Association of Local Government Areas of Nigeria (ALGON) has accused Siminalayi Fubara, governor of the state, of withholding the funds meant for the LGAs since April 2024.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Allwell Ihunda, chairman of ALGON in Rivers, said Fubara “deliberately refused” to hold the joint account allocation committee meeting in the state.

Ihunda, who is also the chairman of Port Harcourt LGA, said the Rivers governor is “starving the third tier of government of the needed funds to discharge their functions.”.

“It has come to the notice of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Rivers State chapter, that the Rivers state government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has neglected, failed, and deliberately refused to hold the statutory joint account allocation committee meeting, which is the prerequisite for the disbursement of funds due to the local government in the state joint local government accounts,” the ALGON chairperson said.

“He has continued to withhold the statutory allocations due to the 23 local government councils of Rivers State since April 2024 and in the case of Emuoha LGA since March 2024 till date for no just course, thereby starving the third tier of the government of the funds required to discharge its statutory functions in the administration of the local government areas.”

He added that Fubara had a meeting with heads of LGA administrations and treasuries and ordered them to compile the salary vouchers of civil servants, excluding chairpersons, vice chairpersons, and councillors.

Ihunda said the governor made the move to “unlawfully dip his hands into LGA funds and pay workers’ salaries directly without the involvement of democratically elected LGA officers.”.

He said the recent comment of Fubara that the house of assembly is non-existent shows that the governor is taking the state to the “dark ages of totalitarianism.”.

He urged President Bola Tinubu to intervene and call Fubara to order.

He added that the statement read during the press briefing was endorsed by 21 LGA chairpersons in the state.


Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, minister of federal capital territory (FCT), have been at loggerheads over political control of the state.

The relationship between the Rivers governor and the state assembly, whose members are Wike’s loyalists, is also not cordial.

In April, the assembly passed the local government amendment bill into law despite the refusal of Fubara to give his assent.

The amendment empowers the house of assembly via resolution to extend the tenure of elected chairpersons of LGAs and councillors, where it is considered impracticable to hold elections before the expiration of their three-year term in office.

The Rivers Assembly said the amendment was to ensure that LGA elections were conducted before the expiration of the outgoing administration.

On April 16, the Rivers High Court in Port Harcourt, the state capital, issued an interim injunction directing the house of assembly to maintain the status quo on the move to extend the tenure of elected LGA officials.

The order followed a suit filed by Enyiada Cooky-Gam, executive chairman of Opobo-Nkoro LGA, and eight other elected council officials.

However, despite the court order, the Rivers Assembly passed the LGA amendment bill into law.

Most of the LGA chairpersons are also Wike’s loyalists.


Share This Article