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Nigerian Youths Chase Rivers LG Chairman from Council Office

The Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) for Rivers State, Allwell Ihunda, narrowly avoided an assault by protesting youths on Moscow Road in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. Ihunda, who also serves as the outgoing Chairman of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, was on his way to the council secretariat with his aides and security personnel when the incident unfolded. Upon reaching the location, he was met with a sizable group of agitated youths obstructing the entrance. According to eyewitnesses, Ihunda had barely exited his vehicle when the youths started yelling and pursuing him. The situation quickly escalated as they tried to apprehend him. Ihunda managed to retreat to his vehicle while his security team intervened, firing shots into the air to disperse the crowd. In the midst of the commotion, Ihunda hurried into a black SUV, which swiftly departed from the scene, trailed closely by two other vehicles, one of which was a white van carrying his aides. As the convoy drove away, the youths continued to hurl insults and threats, expressing their anger and dissatisfaction. The tensions arose from a recent resolution by the state ALGON to remain in office beyond the expiration of their tenure on June 17. This decision was backed by a local government amendment law endorsed by the Martin Amaewhule-led House of Assembly, prolonging the council chairmen’s term by six months due to Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s failure to conduct local government elections. Ihunda has publicly maintained that this law authorizes them to continue serving. The political environment in Rivers State has been increasingly tumultuous. Governor Fubara had previously cautioned the local government chairmen against disrupting the state’s peace and instructed them to vacate their positions as their tenure concluded. Former Speaker Amaewhule, however, warned Governor Fubara against appointing caretaker committee members, asserting that the legislators would not approve of such a decision. The conflict between Governor Fubara and his predecessor, former Governor Nyesom Wike, has further complicated the situation.

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