Millions of Nigerians have condemned, in strong terms, the attacks on the convey of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) attached to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, last Saturday, in Port Harcourt.
The attack, which took place at Nwaja Junction at Trans-Amadi, Port Harcourt during the governor’s project inspection, led to the knocking down of the governor’s outrider and attack on the Pilot 1 driver by the SARS men under the instruction of their Commander, CSP Akin Fakorede at the behest of Amaechi.
Stakeholders, who reacted to the untoward incident across the country, described the minister’s meddling in the governance of the state as an affront on the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria, and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast to stop the tendency by some of his ministers and appointees to resort to the brazen impunity and lawlessness to save the nation’s democracy from total collapse.
Reacting to the incident, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned the minister’s action as untoward and childish.
In a statement, yesterday, signed by the Head, Publicity Division, Adm. Chinwe Nnorom, the party said it was “once again constrained to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to another assassination attempt by his Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike yesterday being Saturday, November 11, 2017, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“The convoy of Governor Wike was ambushed by a contingent of security apparatus led by the Commander of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Rivers State, CSP Akin Fakorede and supervised by Amaechi’s ADC, Mr. Debewari. These constant harassments and attempts on the life of Governor Wike is an open invitation to anarchy and another plan of the APC to ignite crisis against Rivers State,” the party said.
It recalled that “the public is aware that the minister of transportation has been making attempts on the life of Governor Wike, and in all of the attempts, the Commander of SARS in Rivers State, Akin Fakorede is ever ready to lead the ill-advised onslaught.
“Again, we condemn this attack in very strong terms and call on President Buhari to order the immediate transfer of Fakorede of SARS out of Rivers State. Any delay in effecting this change will be taken that President Buhari is fully in charge of these ugly activities in the state.
“We are also calling on the international community to take note of these chains of activity that are carefully planned by the ruling APC and being executed by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. If anything happens to Governor Wike or his immediate family and aides, the APC and Amaechi should be held responsible. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’,” the party added.
Similarly, a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has decried the assassination attempt on Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike by operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) attached to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari should urgently call the minister to order.
Fani-Kayode on his Twitter handle said: “Using SARS thugs to attempt to murder Governor Nyesom Wike and knocking down his outrider with a car will not help Ameachi win Rivers State. It will only lead to bloodshed, reprisals and a vicious cycle of violence, death and destruction. I urge @MBuhari to call his mad dog to order.”
Also reacting, members of D-Source Connect Group, a social media group based in Rivers State, condemned in its entirety, an attempt on the life of Governor Nyesom Wike by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) attached to the minister of transportation.
In a statement on behalf of the group, its Coordinator, Barrister Dike Vincent Amadi, described the attack on the governor as barbaric and complete display of insanity by the men of F-SARS, and the height of frustration and desperation by Amaechi.
The group said that the attack was a confirmation that Fakorede was in Rivers State to compromise the security architecture of the state, and also proves that Amaechi and the APC are behind several security issues in the state.
The group, therefore, called on the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to call the minister to order.
In their reaction, members of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Rivers State chapter also condemned the assassination attempt on the life of Governor Nyesom Wike by operatives of F-SARS in Rivers State led by their Commander, CSP Akin Fakorede.
ALGON, explained that the governor was in his charismatic manner, on routine projects’ inspection at the Trans Amadi area when he was attacked by the SARS operatives attached to the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, and said the attack was an act of lawlessness and crass abuse of privilege as security officers.
“We hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call his minister of transportation and the SARS commander in Rivers State to order, and appeal that the Federal Government prioritises the security of the governor of Rivers State to avoid any further reoccurrence of this despicable act,” the statement signed by Chairman, Caretaker Committee, PHALGA, and Chairman, ALGON, Rivers State, Charles Chima Orlu, indicated.
“If the Federal Government fails in this onerous task, we, as leaders of ALGON in the state will have no other option than to mobilise our people to always protect our God-given governor as he carries on in his duty of developing our dear state,” the statement added.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, last Saturday had said that the ugly incident occurred at Nwaja Junction, on Trans Amadi Road when the governor was inspecting ongoing road construction project in the area.
The statement said the governor’s outrider was allegedly hit by the convoy of the minister, and the policemen in the governor’s pilot car attacked.
The tension was, however, heightened when some of the SARS operatives allegedly cocked the guns, resulting in the chief security detail to the governor physically chasing the men away.
The drama, according to eyewitnesses, lasted for over 30 minutes before the governor proceeded on the inspection of some ongoing projects in the state.
Wike, according to the statement, was not hurt in the incident.
The statement reads in full: “Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike on Saturday escaped assassination as Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) operatives and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in the motorcade of the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi attacked his convoy.
“The governor, who was on project inspection, was attacked at Nwaja Junction on Trans-Amadi Road.
“The SARs personnel and soldiers in the minister’s convoy hit down the governor’s escort rider and attacked the policemen in the pilot car.
“The Aide-De-Camp to the Minister of Transportation, Mr Debewari, supervised the attack, which included damage of cameras held by journalists on the project inspection tour.
“Also part of the attack was the Commander of Rivers SARS, Mr Akin Fakorede, who received the minister of transportation at the Port Harcourt International Airport and accompanied him on his trip.
“After the attack, the Rivers State governor continued with his inspection of projects. Wike was not harmed, despite the attack.
“The minister of transportation had over 50 SARS personnel, soldiers and mobile policemen in his motorcade during the attack,” the statement added.
The projects inspection, around Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas, took the governor to ongoing reconstruction of the Court of Appeal and Produce House.
He also inspected the construction of the National Industrial Court, the dualization of Birabi Street in GRA Phase 1, construction of Mile One Market and Sani Abacha Road in GRA Phase 3.
The governor was accompanied on the inspection by the Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah, among others.
Meanwhile, three youths of Luebe community in Khana Local Government Area of the state have been feared dead, while several others suffered various degrees of injury following attacks by alleged operatives of SARS at about 8:15pm, last Friday.
The Paramount Ruler of the community, Chief Micah Saakara, who confirmed the incident, accused men of SARS in Bori, who allegedly opened fire on the youth claimed to be on local security surveillance duty in the area.
Community sources had claimed that the youth had noticed that the alleged SARS operatives were escorting some elements conveying illegally refined crude oil through Luebe to Ndoki in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, and attempted to know what mission they were on when the suspected SARS personnel opened fire.
In a swift reaction, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Khana LGA, Chief Gbene Lekue Zini condemned the incident, and called on the Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed to investigate, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Zini also called on the people of Luebe to remain calm and law abiding as the government would make sure that justice was not delayed in the matter.
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Calls To Head COVID-19 Team Handiwork Of Mischief Makers Says Rivers State Deputy Governor, Ipalibo Banigo
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has dissociated herself from calls by mischief makers urging the Governor to let her head the COVID 19 Team in the State.
In a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, the Deputy Governor expressed regret that despite the concerted efforts by Governor Wike to protect the Rivers People and stem the spread of Covid 19, some faceless enemies of the State sponsor e-rats to publish junk in the social media, what an absurd way to play politics.
The Deputy Governor of Rivers State is a part and parcel of the Governors team in this fight against the Killer Virus and she is contributing her quota, she must not head the team. There is no law that says she should head the team so why the fuss.
Governor Wike is the leader and he has demonstrated great capacity and leadership in the Country not only in the quest to defeat Covid 19 but in providing democratic dividends to the Rivers People and beyond.
Governor Wike was the first to close his boarders even before the Federal Government thought of it, decontamination of public places is on-going, he has put strict restriction on social gathering, imposed lockdown, curfews, provided all the necessary logistics for health professionals to do their jobs efficiently, intensified public enlightenment campaigns, etc.
What these mischief makers and their political sponsors do not realize is the fact that Covid 19 is not just a Medical or Public Health issue. It goes far beyond health, it is also a security as well as a Socio -economic and political issue, so flaunting the resume’ of Dr. Banigo as a Public Health Physician
and urging Governor Wike to make her head the team is an exercise in futility.
We are facing a novel corona virus; Covid 19 pandemic which no one knows enough about. It is a war and we must all be on board to fight it. This is not the time for distractions.
Please obey all the protocols as elucidated by NCDC and the Rivers State Government which includes the correct wearing of face masks, regular washing of hands with soap and running water as well as the use of alcohol based hand sanitizers, improve personal hygiene, avoiding crowded environment and stop stigmatization of people with the virus. Together we will win the war against Covid 19.
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