Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has appealed to the country’s military not to be involved in partisan politics.
He enjoined them to remain neutral and not take sides in the current struggle by politicians for 2015, stressing that any such involvement would have serious consequences for the country.
Amaechi, however, thanked the military for remaining neutral, asking God to bless them for their decision not to take sides in the country’s current politics.
He also called on the Nigerian police to remain neutral in the current political situation in the country.
Governor Amaechi spoke while addressing legionnaires and representatives of service chiefs in the state for the 2014 Armed Forces and Remembrance Day celebration which emblem appeal launching took place on Tuesday at the Alfred Diette Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt.
Amaechi said, “The greatest source of unity in a country is the military and you have suffered enough to fight for the unity of this country. I will say to you the Nigerian Military, don’t be involved in Nigerian politics. Nigeria is too complicated for the military to be involved in politics.
“Nigeria, as we are here, we have so many tribes. I tell people, I’m not Ijaw, I’m Ikwerre. There are people who are from Ijaw, there are Hausas, there are Yorubas, there are Isokos, there are Fulanis. We are too many that if the military gets involved in Nigerian politics, the consequences will be too much. Currently, we thank all of you for remaining neutral and God will bless you for remaining neutral.
“In the same manner, we will enjoin Nigerian police to remain neutral because the consequences of taking sides will be too much. 2015 is a watershed for the country. All of us seated here must contribute to peace in Nigeria”.
He acknowledged the military’s contributions to unity and nation building, and urged them not to allow such contributions collapse in the current political debate.
“I will say to you today that all of you, both serving and retired, in one way or the other contributed to the unity of Nigeria, and you cannot afford to allow that unity to go. I have a very faint idea of what the civil war looked like because I was born in 1965. My children do not have any idea whatsoever of what the civil war looked like, and I don’t want them to have any idea at all God will not allow us to get involved in such situation where they will have ideas”, Amaechi said.
He noted that the country is too big and too blessed to fail in leadership and not sufficiently meet the people’s needs.
He also disproved claims that he is in politics to aspire to become president in the next elections, explaining that his singular aim was to work with other Nigerians to take the country where it should be.
“For me, I will join you to preach peace. You will see us fighting politically. The reason why we are fighting politically is because Nigeria is too big and too rich to remain the way we are. If anybody tells you that we are not too big and too rich, the person is lying. We are too big and too rich not to be able to provide education for our children. We are too big and too rich not to be able to provide health for our children.
“For our mothers, individuals continue from year to year to put money in their pockets. They say, I’m fighting because I want to be president, I’ve never told anybody I want to be president. I am fighting just one cause: can we change the course of Nigeria? If the Naval officers were here, they would tell you about a ship that is directionless. We can’t continue that way. I’m not saying the president is doing well or not doing well. I’m talking about the entire political class”.
Accordingly, he called on all well-meaning Nigerians to join the race for a better Nigeria, and commented on the extent of progress Nigeria’s neighbour, Ghana had made at the country’s expense.
Amaechi lamented the absence of good leadership and of security, water, power, health and other essential needs of the Nigerian people.
Governor Amaechi, at the event, was decorated by the state Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, King (Col.) Philemon Chinda Omunakwe (rtd).
Earlier, the state Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, King Philemon Omunakwe had thanked Governor Amaechi for identifying with the legionnaires of the state.
He noted the contributions made by the military to ensure the country’s survival and unity, and appealed to government at all levels to appreciate the sacrifice of the country’s fallen heroes and take care of their loved ones.
At the 2014 Emblem Appeal launching were state legionnaires, representatives of service chiefs, including the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu.
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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