Some scholars on Sunday described National Assembly’s takeover of the statutory functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly as a violation of the people’s rights.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Assembly on Thursday took over the functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly in a bid to tackle the crisis rocking the state.
The Senate which announced the development said that the action was pursuant to Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
It said that the National Assembly would take charge pending resolution of the political crisis in the state.
The Head, Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, Prof. Solomon Akinboye, told NAN that the action was unfortunate and violated the rights of Rivers people.
“Taking over the functions of the house is not the solution to the crisis. The situation is becoming more chaotic and calls for concern.
“The people of Rivers should be able to settle their issues internally and amicably in order to move forward,’’ he said.
Dr Samuel Ugo, Senior Lecturer, also of the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, alleged that the action was a ploy to get rid of the state government.
Ugo said that the takeover meant that decisions on issues concerning the state would henceforth be taken by the National Assembly.
He expressed the worry that the situation may degenerate into declaration of a state of emergency in the state, whereby the governor would be suspended until return of normalcy.
Prof. Yomi Akinyeye, a Professor of History and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos, also frowned at the development.
He said that the National Assembly’s action was indirect declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers.
“It is only where there are security concerns and a perceived breakdown of law and order that such a decision could be taken.
“One expected the National Assembly to help in putting adequate machineries in place to investigate the issues that led to the crisis.’’
The don added that some members of the public expected the National Assembly to apportion blames where necessary and make a way for the house of assembly to function well,” he said.