Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said on Friday that President Muhammadu Buhari was under intense pressure from APC leaders to declare a state of emergency in Rivers State following the spate of violence in the state. He however said such a move could not happen because of the mass insecurity across the country including in APC controlled states.
“When I went to see the President, he told me that he was under pressure to declare a state of emergency in Rivers State. But those things they planned to use in declaring state of emergency in Rivers State fell on their own states and it became difficult to do so,” said Wike when he granted audience to Anglican Bishops of Niger Delta Province who came to thank him for his role in the successful conduct of their Synod.
He said: “When you sit and plot evil against Rivers State, you will not know peace. If they don’t apologise for plotting and executing evil against Rivers State, they will never know peace.”
The governor did not tell who exactly were the APC leaders plotting for a state of emergency in Rivers state.
Rivers state suffered a terrible tragedy in Omoku at the beginning of the year when a cult gang killed dozens of worshipers heading home after a New Year church service. The alleged leader of that cult gang, Don Wanny, was killed by the men of the Nigerian Army shortly afterwards.
On President Buhari’s seeming indifference to those killed in Benue marked by his refusal to visit the survivors, Wike had this to say:
“In other climes if ten persons are killed, the President visits to personally assess the situation. The country has become a security nightmare with 73 persons killed in Benue and mass burial organised for them, with the Presidency acting as if nothing happened.
“Human lives are not respected. In fact, the lives of cows and chicken appear to be more important than human lives. This has nothing to do with politics. Let us not trivialize the catastrophe that has befallen Nigeria,” he said.
Similarly, Wike said in a radio interview on Saturday that the operation against Don Wanny was funded by the Rivers government even though the Army carried out the operation.
“The State Government funded the operation that led to the death of Don Wanny. The President may have encouraged It, but the operation was funded by the Rivers State Government,” he said.
According to him, the gang leader planned a second attack “to kill more than 200 persons. I thank God that we tracked him down and averted the tragedy.”