GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said the youth group, which is a recent viral video threatened to destroy the state in defense of Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi’s political interests, was emboldened to act in such manner because Amaechi allegedly assured them of security cover.
The governor in media remarks, on Sunday, also said the pro-Amaechi group was further encouraged to make the threat, widely perceived as inciting, because Amaechi during his time as governor of Rivers also displayed similar impunity when he allegedly shut down courts in the state.
Wike blamed security agencies for turning a blind eye on the pro-Amaechi group’s threats of violence amid widespread calls for their arrest and prosecution.
He said: “It’s really unfortunate that some people can now want to destroy the state. They issued threats and the security agencies cannot come out to say we can’t tolerate such a threat against the peace and existence of the state.
“I will not go to court against anybody because the threat is in the public domain. It is obvious, that they have the Police, Department of State Services, DSS, Air Force, Navy, and the Army backing.
“Otherwise, how do you explain the long silence of the Nigerian security agencies over such threats already trending online?
“For whatever reason, why won’t they bother about the person making such threats because of an internal problem within APC?
“Remember, for the first time in the history of this country when Amaechi was governor, he shut down the courts for two years. Based on that experience, more threats and attacks were seen.
“The minister is now coming to say that he is not a man of violence, which is not true. We are not children to be so deceived. During the campaign leading to 2019 elections, he came to the state chanting war songs and nobody cautioned him.”
On perceived police frustration of Rivers State fight against COVID-19 pandemic, Wike lamented: “I have always said governors are not the real chief security officers. They are only chief logistics officers of their states, providing funds for security agencies’ operations.
“For us, we are talking about COVID-19 pandemic, which is commonplace across the country. The safety of the people is paramount and we signed an Executive Order, but a deputy commissioner went ahead to flout it.
“In fact, the Commissioner of Police was transferred, including the director of DSS, and the Air Force Commander because they worked with me to enforce COVID-19 protocols. The new people they have sent are also afraid. Such a double standard in this country is not healthy.”
Cultism in Rivers
On Amnesty International labeling the state as welcoming to rampant cult violence and killings, Wike asked: “Why are they not talking about the insecurity across Nigeria, particularly killings done by bandits in some states?
“Is it because those states are controlled by the ruling party?
“Today, Rivers State is comparatively fairing well. We have fought cultists to a standstill. But you cannot say that is the case in Nigeria as a whole today. What has Amnesty said about killings by bandits in other states?”
On the perceived amicable resolution of the tension in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, before and during Friday’s Edo State governorship primary of the party, the governor expressed happiness over the elimination of litigations in the situation.
Amaechi denounces violence, urges supporters to be lawful
Meanwhile, Amaechi has denounced the action of the said support group.
Speaking through his Media Office, he said: “If you say you’re my supporter, you’ll know that I don’t just respect the law, I fear the law. Breaking the law can put you in jail. Because of the kind of words used in that video, I may have to address it.
“I believe that no matter how angry you are, no matter how institutions are manipulated, you cannot resort to violence. A judge once said ‘I am allowed to be wrong, that’s why you have the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court’.
“So if you think what the state judiciary is doing is wrong, then go to the Court of Appeal, go to the Supreme Court and ensure you exhaust the due process. No matter your frustration, you don’t have the right to take the law into your hands.
“I’m responding to those videos because they all said they are my supporters; those who made the comment and those who countered them: my message to everyone is to tell everybody supporting me to please remain calm and get out of violence.”