By Sadiq Umar – The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), has alleged that the recent visit of the Committee of House of Representatives to Rivers was sponsored by Governor Nyesom Wike to stampede the military out of Ogoni area of the state.
The party said having painstakingly observed and reviewed the visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Army to Rivers State, it has justifiably concluded that the entire exercise was contrived and sponsored by the Rivers State Governor for the purpose of blackmailing and stampeding the Nigerian Army out of Ogoniland before the conclusion of the outstanding rerun elections process in Rivers South East Senatorial zone.
The APC in statement signed by its Chairman, Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said, “our conclusion that the desire of Gov. Nyesom Wike to hound the Army out of Rivers South East is to pave way for his own army of cultists, ex-militants and hoodlums led by his ally, Solomon Ndigbara to, once again, impose insecurity, fear and killings on Ogoniland with a view to preventing the people from living their lives and exercising their franchise in peace.
The statement reads: “Information available to the APC credibly confirm that Gov. Nyesom Wike and his officials sponsored the so-called petitions by Civil Liberties Organisation [CLO] and other nebulous characters accusing the Nigerian Army of wrongdoings in Ogoniland. Evidence abound of how the governor and his officials paid huge sums of money to some Chiefs and individuals to put up various shows and make false presentations to the House Committee members during their visit.
“Again, observers also noted the various interactions between the Committee members and the governor during their stay in the State and concluded that the Committee members were compromised through financial inducements to turn out a damning report against the deployment of the Army in troubled parts of Ogoni to pave way for getting the Army out of the way before the conclusion of the suspended rerun elections in the area for the benefit of the PDP and their candidates.
“For example, a PDP top member boasted yesterday that with what happened between Gov. Wike and the House Committee members during their visit, he was sure the Army will be nowhere near Ogoni during the conclusion of rerun elections in the area. This boast by a PDP member only goes to confirm the information available to the APC that the House Committee visit, the timing and what has transpired so far point to a well-planned scheme by Gov. Nyesom Wike to get the Nigerian Army out of Ogoni to aid the return of his own army led by Solomon Ndigbara to intimidate the citizens whenever the remaining rerun elections will hold.
“The APC wishes to call on the leadership of the Nigerian House of Representatives, the leadership of the Nigerian Army and all other stakeholders on the matter not to fall for the scheming of Gov. Nyesom Wike. They should insist on carrying out their constitutional responsibilities especially in ensuring that there is peace and security in Ogoniland and any other part of Nigeria at all times. No one should be swayed by the blackmail contrived, nurtured and sponsored by Gov. Nyesom Wike as part of his scheme to stop Senator Magnus Ngei Abe from consummating his victory to the Nigerian Senate.”