Rivers APC Reacts To Governor Wike’s Comments

Rivers APC Remembers Late Victims Of 2015 ElectionsThe All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state has reacted to comments credited to the governor of rivers state over security details given to APC candidates, as well as other comments made by the governor in the past two weeks.

In a statement signed by the Chairman of the party in the state, Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, titled: “Why is Governor Wike hysterical over APC candidates’, it said the conduct of the governor makes people wonder if he understands the office of a governor.

It wondered why the governor who had been labelled the king of rigging by some persons, will be raising unfounded accusations against all and sundry over plans to rig the rerun elections.

The statement went on to state that the governor has sinister motives for wanting to know the security architecture of opponents and based on his utterances in the past two weeks, should be checked by all relevant agencies.

The party also condemned what it called the cheap blackmail of its candidates and members by the governor and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the run up to the polls.

The statement read:

“Despite the decision to ignore the barrage of worthless statements by Governor Nyesom Wike in the past weeks concerning the December 10 rerun election in Rivers state, the state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) however, has observed that the governor seems to have particularly taken interest in scrutinising precautionary personal security arrangements by APC candidates as the rerun elections approach.

“To drive home his needless hysteria, Governor Wike has gone to town reeling out names of alleged security agents protecting APC candidates, claiming that the security agents will be used to cause electoral mischief particularly for snatching of ballot boxes.

“The governor’s verbal incontinence in the past two weeks has led to several people wondering aloud publicly, whether the governor truly understands what the office of a governor in Nigeria means.

“The APC finds this matter quite worrisome because ordinarily the governor should not be bothered by security arrangements people make for themselves in the face of general insecurity that presently pervades our once peaceful state now under his watch.

“It is all too well known that he lacks the moral grounds to genuinely fight insecurity, having caused it ab initio. It is highly suspicious that a governor will climb a political soapbox and start reeling out names of security agents attached to his political opponents.

“The easiest thing that comes to mind is that Governor Wike has very sinister motives for seeking to always ascertain the security architecture around his opponents. Why does he always complain whenever it appears that his opponents are not as vulnerable as he would want them to be security-wise?

“The APC gave up on Governor Wike when he recently declared before the world in one of his infamous exercise of verbal indiscretion that he is the “the king of rigging” and swearing: “make thunder fire all these APC people.”

They went further to say, “even if we are no more shocked by Governor Wike’s circus show, we only ask what manner of governor is this. How did we get here?, the party questioned.

“A couple of days ago, Governor Wike boasted about a recording in his possession in which the Rivers state police commissioner was planning with APC to rig the rerun elections. Today, he said that he also has information on the inspector-general of police planning how to deploy policemen to rig the elections.

“Tomorrow, we do not know the next scoop the governor will boast of, as a superman of politics and everything.

“The APC condemns the continued blackmail of all stakeholders except himself and PDP in the forthcoming rerun elections. We remind Gov. Wike that immunity in public office has expiry date.

“The DSS DG recently disclosed that the service will surely come for Gov. Wike whenever he leaves office for obstructing the lawful action of arresting and investigating a suspected high court judge. It is certain that there are many issues he will have to be made to account for someday.

“The APC calls on the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General, DSS and other security agencies to hold Governor Nyesom Wike responsible for any harm that happens to any APC candidate or member before, during and after the December 10 rerun elections,” the statement read.

Wike had berated the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC ), for allegedly releasing an All Progressives Congress (APC), dominated list of ad-hoc staff, for the December 10 rerun elections.

According to him, INEC had included APC Ward Chairmen and Ward Secretaries as Assistant Presiding Officers (APO’s).

Wike Accuses Police, DSS Of Trying To Abduct A Judge

Nyesom Wike, Police, DSS, JudgeRivers State Governor has accused the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) of trying to abduct a serving Federal High Court judge in his residence at number 35, Forces Avenue in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, on getting wind of the incidence, went to the residence of the judge with the aim of averting the arrest.

A statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said the security operatives were angered by the governor’s arrival at the scene shortly after the process began.

The statement adds that the security operatives blocked the entrance of the residence of the judge at about 1:00am on Saturday, claiming that they were acting on orders from above.

The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Francis Odesanya, however, said that the two security agencies were at the scene because they received privileged information.

Mr Odesanya added that he was at the scene as a peacemaker.

Governor Wike Narrates The Situation 

Meanwhile, the Governor narrating the situation to newsmen in the state said, “It appeared to be an attempt to kidnap some people, so I told my security details to arrange security for us to move to the place.

“We got here 10 minutes after 1:00 am, and saw some security agencies, I asked what was  going on and the security official said they were detailed to arrest a judge.

” I said it is never heard that by 1:00am (after one), you are here to arrest a judge when you could as well invite the judge.

“If you cannot reach the judge whoever the judge is, invite the judge through the Chief Judge and obviously, the judge must have to respond to your invitation”.

The Governor stated that it will not be appropriate to arrest a judge at an odd hour when he has not been declared as a criminal but invited to have a chat which they said was the motive of the arrest.

He insisted that the judge must be invited in the morning to come for the chat, “I said okay, why not in the morning invite the judge to come whoever the judge is?


“And they insisted that by the order they have that they are directed to pick the judge and bring the judge over.

“I said well, as the Chief Security Officer, if I cannot at this moment say look, it is not possible and let us see a way that we can do things the more civilized way, this is democracy, this is not military government.

“If as a governor of a state you cannot respect and say okay, now that the governor as the Chief Security Officer (as they said) has advised that they should invite the judge to come whoever the judge is, then something is wrong”,

The governor further added that such act portends danger to our democracy and “under a democratic government, it’s not allowed, the rule of law must always take its place”.

He noted that there are things to be done in a more decent way to assure people of their protection in a democratic dispensation, he referred to the incident as “unfortunate”

 

Commissioner Describes Rivers’ Crisis As A Criminal Activity

Rivers State Commissioner for InformationThe Rivers State Commissioner for Information has described the ongoing crisis in the state as a criminal activity, insisting that ‘it is not political’.

Mr Austin Tam George was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday.

The Commissioner said: “I wouldn’t characterise the crisis as political in nature, we consider them as Criminal activities.

“We cannot draw conclusions now because obviously, investigations are still on.

“We got a report about the recent killing and the government has condemned those killings.

“The Governor directed security forces to move into the area and tried to make sure they bring the situation under control”.

Mr George admitted that the state was going through a difficult situation saying that it is not unique to Rivers State, but other parts of the country – Oyo, Ogun and Lagos States.

“What we are doing is to constantly work with the security forces, stakeholders, youth groups, community leaders and traditional authorities to make sure that the perpetrators of these crimes are apprehended and brought to face justice.

“In Rivers State, the Governor has done very well in terms of giving tremendous support to security forces. He was the first, in this political dispensation, to give over 60 security fitted vehicles to the police,” the Commissioner said.

Talking about what the government had done in Onelga, one of the communities that had witnessed violence recently, the Commissioner said that “the Governor held a security summit that brought all stakeholders together to discuss a way forward – whatever the grievances might be, whether the activities involved cult members or political disagreement”.

At least six persons were killed in Rivers State when Omoku community in Onelga, came under heavy gunfire late on Friday, February 12, till the early hours of Saturday, February 13.

Police said it was a cult battle for supremacy.

The attack occurred less than 48 hours after a former lawmaker, who represented ‘Onelga Constituency One’ in the Rivers State House of Assembly between 1999 and 2003, was killed by yet to be identified gunmen in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

Security Architecture

Mr George said no arrest has been made, noting that he understands that the Police Commissioner arrived in the state on Sunday night. He, however, reiterated that  investigations were actively on in the area.

“We’ve had so many deployment and redeployment of Police Commissioners.

“But what seems to be logical is that, when we have some longevity in terms of how long a Police Commissioner remains in office within a state, he gets to know the security architecture, he gets to know the topography of the area, he gets to form alliances with stakeholders in the state, he gets to meet the communities and get them involved in the security architecture he had built. But it takes time for all of these to mature and take place.”

He likened the group to cultists because they seem to have a common identity.

“They seem to be fighting for tough control – they want to control their own territories.

“The nature of these activities made it a little bit difficult in Rivers State because of the difficult terrain and because sometimes, we have not had the constituency that you would expect in terms of security personnel in the state,” he added.

Pro-Biafran supporters Stage Protest In Rivers

Pro Biafran supporters Stage Protest In RiversHundreds of pro-Biafran supporters carrying placards with various inscriptions have stormed the streets of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State in Nigeria’s south-south region, causing temporal gridlock on the Aba-Azikiwe road axis.

According to them, their protest was to show solidarity for the Biafran Radio Host, Kalu, who was arrested by security agencies and later released on administrative bail.

The protesters said that although authorities in the country viewed them as ‘anti government’, they ‘remain resolute to have a nation of their own’.

However, the demonstration of the pro-Biafran supporters’ was cut short, as the Rivers State Police Command said it had taken control of the situation.

“The protesters have been dispersed,” a police source said.

The State Police Commissioner, Musa Kimo, told Channels Television that although the protesters stormed the streets without permission, his men have been dispatched to all flash points in Rivers State to ensure no further breakdown of law and order.

He warned that anyone found to breech the peace would be made to face the law.

Mr Kimo further disclosed that some arrests had been made so far in connection to the protest, stating that details would be provided in due course.

Organisers Don’t Need Police Permit To Hold Save Rivers Rally – Suraj

Anti-corruption activist and public affairs analyst, Olanrewaju Suraj on Monday described the disruption of the Save Rivers Movement Rally in Rivers State, as an ‘unconstitutional act’ encouraged by the Goodluck Jonathan led administration, adding that organisers did not need the permission of the police to hold a peaceful rally.

“There’s nowhere in Nigeria where you need to obtain a permit to hold a rally” as “it was the decision of a competent Court of Appeal in Nigeria that the demand for police permit to hold a rally is illegal and a violation of the Constitution,” Suraj said, adding that the issue of a permit was a ploy by the Police to hoodwink Nigerians.

Speaking on Channels Television’s flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Suraj stressed that the disruption of the event, ordered by the State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, was against the law as organisers had the right to associate as stated in the Nigerian Constitution.

He also said that the organisers did not need to obtain a permit from the Police before staging the rally as stated by Mr Mbu who claimed that the rally was political in nature.

“It tells us how much the law enforcement agents are either ignorant of the law or consciously violating the laws of the lands in a bid to protect and promote a certain interest within the system at the expense of the country,” Mr Suraj said.

A fresh spate of crisis drew nationwide attention on Sunday when men of the Rivers State Police Command at about 5.30am on Sunday, stormed the Rivers State College of Arts and Science in Rumuola, venue of the proposed Save Rivers Movement (Rally) scheduled to hold at 1 PM.

The Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, had also been labelled partisan by critics who claimed he was working against the Governor Chibuike Amaechi administration, as a result of his allegiance to the President and First Lady of the country.

Several citizens including Senator Magnus Abe sustained different degrees of injuries during the raid.

In reaction to this, Mr Suraj warned that the “disintegration of this country is likely to start from Rivers State and not the Boko Haram.”