- Ogoni youths ask Governor Wike to face governance squarely
- APC points out instigation of external forces in Wike's hate speeches
Thousands of youths from the Rivers South East senatorial district on Wednesday March 2, 2016 took to the streets of Bori, headquarters of Khana local government area of Rivers State, in protest over the recent alleged hate speeches of Governor Nyesom Wike, against their prominent sons and leaders.
They said that their peaceful walk was in the pursuit of the Ogoni non-violence struggle.
The protesters, who came from all the seven local government areas that make up the Rivers South East senatorial district, carried placards with the inscription, "Wike, leave Magnus Abe alone", "Wike, stop bringing guns to Ogoni", "Concentrate on governance, Wike", "Wike, go and campaign in Ikwerre, respect Abe and Barry Mpigi", amongst others.
Addressing the protesters, deputy national secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Oji Ngofa, said the people of the senatorial district, and Ogoni ethnic nationality in particular, have suffered enough of divide and rule tactics, pointing out that hate speeches and instigation of crisis by external forces have caused a lot of pains to the people of the district.
See photos of some of the protesting youths below:
Ngofa, who is former chairman of Eleme local government area of the state, described Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, and Barry Mpigi, both candidates of the APC for the March 19, National Assembly rerun elections, as respected sons of the Ogoni ethnic nationality.
While calling on Wike to face governance, the APC scribe declared his support for the presence of the military in Bori, saying it is in the interest of the people of the Rivers south east senatorial district, considering the high level of insecurity in the area.
Also addressing the protesters, former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly representing Khana Constituency 1, Legborsi Nwidadah, wondered why the governor chose to blame his political opponents instead of calling for an investigation into the attack on soldiers in Ogoni communities.
Nwidadah also wondered why Wike has not come out to condemn the large catches of arms and ammunition that were recovered by the military at the residence of wanted former Niger Delta militant, Solomon Ndigbara (aka Osama Bin Laden) in Yeghe community, Gokana local government area of the state.
In his speech, president general of Ogoni Democratic Movement and organizer of the protest March, Sir Godwin Bazari, urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to ignore the plea by the people of Rivers south-east senatorial district to conduct a proper investigation into the remote cause of the burning down of Senator Magnus Abe’s Senatorial Liaison Office and the attendant violence that occurred in Bori, in order to punish the culprits.
Meanwhile, the Rivers state chapter of the APC has dismissed an accusation by Governor Wike that the party was contemplating rigging the March 19 rerun elections in the state.
Governor Wike made the accusation when the vice chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Ndowa Lale and the management of the university paid him a courtesy call at the government House Port Harcourt Tuesday, March 1.
In a swift reaction, Chris Finebone, the publicity secretary of APC via a statement, said: "To say the least, this is the most callous and mischievous lie of the Century. It is important that we reveal here that this is a smokescreen by the governor to conceal his attempts to repeat what he did in 2015 which he is trying so hard to repeat without success so far and the APC is monitoring his antics closely.
"Some of those in that audience who knew what the governor has been trying to do must have really been amused at his accusation against the APC."