Wike assures northern elders of peaceful coexistence in Rivers
He, however, noted that any group, which dares to claim that the state belongs to them would be resisted, stressing that he would continue to govern in a manner that would not undermine the interest of members of any ethnic group resident in the state.
Wike stated this yesterday when the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) led by its Chairman, Prof. Ango-Abdullahi, visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt.
A statement issued by Special Assistant to Governor Wike on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, affirmed that the Northern leaders visited the state to meet with their kith and kin in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests that was allegedly hijacked by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the state.
His words: “Nobody can sack anybody in Rivers. Everybody has the right to live in the state. But no group can say it is their own place. I won’t allow that. We also have Rivers people living outside the state. So, I can assure you that I will not do anything untoward to any ethnic group.”
He commended the leaders for the visit to ascertain what actually happened during the #EndSARS protest, saying it was sad that people would do the wrong things and dubiously ascribe efforts to correct them to politics and ethnic bias just to deepen the divide among Nigerians.
Governor Wike, said he had raised the alarm against the danger of insecurity after cultists killed over 100 persons on a particular Christmas’ eve in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Council Area of the state, but lamented that the Federal Government reduced the issue to politics and today, insecurity was ravaging all parts of the country.
He also recalled how Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) brutality against Rivers people was ignored, adding that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued a report that indicted the FSARS commander in the state, but instead of addressing the issues, the erring officer was promoted, among other issues.
Responding, Abdullahi, said although they had received complaints about what happened during the #EndSARS protests from their people, they decided to visit the South to ascertain the facts.
He explained that based on NEF’s interaction with Northerners residents in Rivers State, they were fairly comfortable and satisfied residing in the state, pointing out that the kind of empathy, sympathy, and care Governor Wike had shown as a leader, was worthy of emulation.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this perhaps can be explained by history. The greatest history in terms of the political relations between the people of the North and the Southern part of the country can always be found deeply rooted in the Niger Delta area.”
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