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Zacchaeus Adangor and matters arising in Rivers state




By Sunday Thomas

The immediate past commissioner for justice and special duties in Rivers state, Prof Zaccheus Adangor, is a learned silk. He has years of law experience, earning him the notable rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. The implication is that Prof Zaccheus Adangor should always rise above pettiness and stand on the side of the truth because he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.
The recent interview he granted on television was about why he resigned from his appointment with the Rivers State Executive Council. His position was ludicrous. I watched in disbelief how the Senior Advocate of Nigeria tried to twist the issues and stroke a chord that won’t sound well on the happenings in Rivers State.
During the interview, he also ruminated on his words to see if they were adding up. I thought I was the only one that noticed until a friend called my attention to it. It was a shame for Rivers people, and I kept wondering why Zaccheus Adangor and his paymasters wouldn’t allow peace to reign in Rivers state.
The highlight of his diatribe during the interview was the insinuation that the Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, wanted him to institute legal action against the 8-point Presidential Proclamation on the political disagreement in the state by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It sounded like tales by moonlight. I had to adjust my seating position to be sure I was not dreaming. Here is my take. The crux of the political crisis in Rivers State is well-known to discerning minds. It is the fight between the interest of a select few and the interest of the generality of Rivers people. The Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, is on the side of the people, while Zaccheus Adangor and his patrons are on the other side. It is that simple, and let’s make no mistakes about it.
Therefore, the appearance of the former commissioner could have been better conceived. It was a political strategy to rubbish the efforts of the governor of Rivers State in the implementation of the peace accord initiated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It didn’t end there. The insinuation that the reason for his resignation was his refusal to institute legal action against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the governor’s instructions was a joke taken too far.
The truth remains that his resignation was because he was redeployed. His redeployment was in order because of his disloyalty to the governor. As a professor of law and a senior advocate of Nigeria, he ought to have acted civilly and respectably. It is common sense that his loyalty was expressly to the state governor and not to a political godfather somewhere. But common sense is not common, and he resigned.
Now that he has resigned, he has assumed another responsibility. The responsibility to make public appearances on behalf of his disgruntled principal who won’t allow peace to reign in Rivers state. And the appearance on channels television is the beginning of a new vocation for the law professor.
There is more than meets the eye in Rivers State. It is obvious that the forces against the state’s interest are unrelenting in their wild goose chase for control of the state. I wonder if they have not realized that their actions have turned the state into comedy. If that is not the case, what else? It was a situation where a commissioner resigned, and the best he could do was spread lies about why and whatnot.
This is what the learned Zaccheus Adangor has been propagating. Not minding the implications of his actions. I haven’t seen such audacity anywhere. The audacity of a commissioner to dictate to the governor of a state. The audacity of a commissioner to reject redeployment. This can only happen in Rivers State.
It is instructive to state that the likes of Zaccheus Adangor were positioned in the Rivers state executive council to undermine the governor on behalf of the former governor. And he did that numerous times. As a fact, he openly admitted that while he was a member of the Rivers state executive council, he was not loyal to the governor but to the former governor.
This is what happens when people get blinded by selfish ambitions. As a law professor, he must stand on equity, fairness and justice, not vice versa. By his actions, he has brought disrepute to the legal profession. This is a shame and why Nigerians should not take him seriously.
His diatribe against the governor of Rivers State is noted. But it can’t change that this is a fight to control the state’s resources. There is an executive governor of the state. His name is Sir Siminalayi Fubara, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s constitution stipulates an executive governor’s powers and responsibilities.
I wish to state that no amount of blackmail or intimidation can deter the governor from carrying out his roles and responsibilities as the executive governor of Rivers State. This much Professor Zacchaeus Adangor and his co-travellers must come to terms with and give peace a chance in Rivers state.

Thomas wrote this piece from Lagos.