Wike says FG can’t intimidate Rivers people over security outfit
• HURIWA accuses government, military of double standards
Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday declared that Rivers State would not be intimidated irrespective of the military invasion of the camp of its neighbourhood safety corps.
Wike said no level of illegal use of force by state apparatus like the military and police could subjugate the people of the state.
The governor made the comments at the commissioning of Anaka multi-purpose community hall, Ogbogoro in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area yesterday.
Wike, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chukwuemeka Woke, urged Rivers people to remain peaceful despite the alleged provocative actions against their interest. He said the invasion by the army was done in bad faith.
“The Rivers State House of Assembly passed a bill establishing the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency. The governor of Rivers State signed that bill and it became a law of the state. If anybody or any organization or institution has anything against that law, what is natural to do is to go to court of law and challenge that law.
“You are aware and have seen the level of provocation by federal agencies. Only last week, they invaded the training camp of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency. But we are urging Rivers people to remain firm and strong. I tell you, as far as Rivers State is concerned, we cannot be intimidated. No amount of federal might can intimidate us.”
Wike spoke as a pro-democracy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) accused the Federal Government and the military of double standards in the handling of the establishment of the neighbourhood security outfit
The group said “the current government has diametrically opposed guidelines on how to treat security issues in the North from that of the Southern Nigeria which clearly shows an administration that nurses deep seated suspicions of the Southern people and has unflinching trust of Northern politicians and most especially those of the APC who are Hausa/Fulani Moslems.”
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko in Abuja, yesterday, HURIWA said the double standards amounted to discrimination which the Nigerian constitution totally outlaws.
The group said the directive by the army’s high command to the Rivers State government to discontinue the setting up of a statewide security watch to be made up of trained citizens was unconstitutional, illegal and biased “given that several states in the North already run armed civilian vigilantes, including the APC governments in Kano, Borno and Zamfara states.”