Friday, 24 March 2017

Governor Wike Needs Prayers And Deliverance - Benue CPS

We read on the front page of today's Daily Sun newspaper a report credited to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, calling for a declaration of a state of emergency in Benue State. He said his call was based on the current security situation in the state. Governor Wike who is expected to know the powers and limits of a state governor with regard to security matters, without any provocation whatsoever, attacked his counterpart, Governor Samuel Ortom over his handling of unfortunate security developments in Benue State.

If indeed Governor Wike granted the interview in the manner reported by the newspaper, then his utterances are jaundiced and reckless. What he therefore needs are prayers for deliverance. His call which implies the dismantling of democracy structures and military takeover in Benue State has exposed him as a man who does not believe in civil rule. He has thus lost the basis of being a democratically elected governor.

This is the second time that Governor Wike has launched unwarranted attacks on the person and office of Governor Ortom since he travelled with his colleagues, the Progressive Governors to Port Harcourt in December last year to campaign for All Progressives Congress, APC candidates in the Rivers re-run National Assembly election. The APC won in key areas where Wike had declared war before the polls and he obviously has not forgiven the APC governors, particularly Governor Ortom.

Perhaps Governor Wike needs to be educated on the efforts his counterpart in Benue has made to ensure security in Benue State.
Governor Ortom was the first to declare amnesty to armed youths in his inaugural speech on 29th May, 2015. The disarmament programme resulted in the recovery of over 600 arms and ammunition with about 800 youths embracing the amnesty initiative.

Governor Ortom has made sustained efforts to promote peace between farmers and herdsmen as well as deepening inter-state peace building efforts with Taraba and Nasarawa States. The Governor's contacts with the Presidency, Chief of Army Staff and Inspector General of police resulted in the deployment of troops to curb the herders and farmers crisis in Agatu, Tarka, Makurdi, Logo, Buruku, Guma and Gboko local government areas.
He has purchased patrol vehicles for police and other security agencies and prevailed on the military authorities to establish a special brigade to fight the invasion of Benue communities.

The Governor has inaugurated security committees at the state, local government, ward and kindred levels to tackle security challenges at each of those levels.
Governor Ortom has consistently been advocating the establishment of ranches as a permanent solution to end the clashes between farmers and herdsmen and has consequently sent an executive bill on anti-open grazing prohibition and establishment of ranches bill to the State House of Assembly. Public hearings on the bill are ongoing in the three senatorial districts of the state.

When armed Fulani herdsmen invaded Buruku and Gboko local government areas last week, the Governor visited promply and ensured their exit from the area.
His efforts have led to the rescue of people, especially children from kidnappers and has provided support for the Civilian Joint Task Force and the vigilante groups in the state to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies.

Following Governor Ortom's visit to Zaki-Biam on Tuesday this week and the quick action he took, security has been beefed up to restore peace in the affected areas.
Arrests of some suspects have also been made besides assistance given to victims to access sustained and better medical attention.

On the other hand, there are reports that over 400 people believed to be mostly members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been killed, with some beheaded in Omoku community and its environs in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers State by cultists that were recruited and armed by Governor Nyelsom Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

During the December 10, 2016 re-run election in Rivers State, a police officer, DSP Alkali was beheaded and his driver shot dead and buried in a shallow grave at Ijiji community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA.
As we speak, no fewer than 200 people have been killed and several communities destroyed in Ogoni area of Rivers State by cultists who were reportedly armed by Wike and the PDP.

In 2016, Wike organised amnesty programme for known cultists in the state, but deliberately refused to recover arms and other dangerous weapons from cultists in Ogoni with the hope of using them for the December 10, 2016 election, which the PDP lost in Ogoniland.
So, after the elections, the cultists now turned the guns against their fellow Ogoni brothers, killing and maiming on daily basis.

Recall that the report of the joint panel set up by the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the violence during the December 10, 2016 re-run election indicted Governor Wike for his role in the attack and harassment of electoral officers who refused to do his bidding during the election.
No fewer than 23 officials of INEC, who were bribed by Governor Wike to rig the polls for the PDP are currently standing trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Before the December 10, 2016 re-run election, Governor Wike was caught on tape threatening to kill officials of INEC who refused to rig the election in favour of his party.
Late last year, Governor Wike prevented operatives of the DSS from effecting the arrest of Federal High Court judges who were accused of corruption.
Governor Wike has also openly identified with militants and as we speak, no fewer than six known militants are either members of the Rivers State House of Assembly or chairmen of local government councils in Rivers State.

For a man who presides over a state where thugs reign supreme, terrorizing innocent people in all local government areas of the state, Governor Wike clearly lacks moral justification to point accusing finger at Governor Ortom. Rivers is the only state in the country at the moment where youths corps members can no longer take part in the conduct of elections . It is on record that Governor Wike recently warned every corps member posted to his state for elections to write their wills before accepting the responsibility. Allegations that a corps member was murdered in Ahoada on his orders are rife.
He therefore has no reason to call for emergency rule in another state. If state of emergency is to be declared in any state of the federation, that state is Nyesom Wike's Rivers.

His blatant disregard for the rule of law is known to all. That's one unique difference between him and Governor Ortom. While the Rivers Governor takes pleasure in bloodbath, Governor Ortom is a peace-loving leader who employs dialogue and other conflict resolution approaches to end crisis in his state.
Governor Wike's call for emergency rule is therefore not only diversionary but also devoid of any shred of reasoning befitting the status of a man trusted with the responsibility of leading a state. We advise the embattled Governor to face the numerous charges of election fraud, rigging and violence leveled against him by Rivers people and leave Benue State alone. Benue is currently in the hands of a God-fearing Governor who is working tirelessly to guarantee the safety of lives and property.

Terver Akase
Chief Press Secretary
March 23, 2017.

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