By Kalada Jumbo
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the Rivers State Government will pursue justice for all those murdered in cold blood by soldiers of the Nigerian Army recruited by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to unleash mayhem on PDP members in Abonnema and other towns during Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Addressing journalists on Sunday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that all those involved in the cold blooded murder of innocent Rivers people to feather the Presidential Ambition of their benefactor will not go unpunished.
Governor Wike particularly berated the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarham and the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (FSARs) Akin Fakorede for their ugly roles in the murder of Rivers people during the elections.
He said: “Let it be known that those who masterminded the murderous assault on Abonnema and other communities in Rivers State last Saturday have bloodstains on their hands, for which they are all answerable before the Almighty God.
“I wish to assure all and sundry that we shall as a government pursue justice for the families of the victims against the perpetrators of the mayhem, killings and destructions in Abonema, Buguma, Degema and other places no matter how powerful they may seem and how long it may take”.
Governor Wike called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the army to pull out of Abonnema, so that the people can resume their normal lives.
“I call on Mr. President to please, in the name of God direct the army to withdraw the occupation and siege on Abonnema and Bonny communities so that the people can go about with their normal lives”, he said.
Governor Wike wondered why the Minister of Transportation would connive with the Nigerian Army to spill the blood of Rivers people just for the purpose of political relevance.
“But, like all well meaning Nigerians, I dare to ask: does the ambition of Mr. President to cling on to power warrant the gruesome and coldblooded murder of innocent souls in Rivers State by the Minister of Transportation and his armed gangs?
“Must the Minister of Transportation shed innocent blood, desecrate the land of Abonnema and humiliate our people in pursuit of the re-election of our President?
“Are the people Abonnema and indeed, kalabari happy with the occupation of their land and the way it was turned to a minefield of killings and destruction by the army on account of someone’s ambition to remain relevant in national politics and hopefully be re-appointed?” he said.
He berated prominent Kalabari sons who collaborated with the Minister of Transportation to kill their own people because of electoral success.
He asked: “Are the APC leaders of Kalabari, especial Mr. Tonye Cole, Prince Tonye Princewill and Professor Charles Dokubo pleased with the killings and destruction in Abonnema and other parts of kalabari by the army?
“Can they in all conscience defend and or be happy to be the among the principal actors with the Transport Minister to inflict such horrendous levels of killings and devastation to their own people and communities just to prove how connected they are to the Federal Government and the nation’s military? What a shame?”
The governor outlined the atrocities committed by the Minister of Transportation, the GOC 6 Division of the Nigerian Army and the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad during the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Rivers State.
“As I speak, the army are ravaging the entire Abonnema community and killing young men found in their homes. In Bonny, Rotimi Amaechi’s ally and former Commissioner of Transport, George Tolofari led a band of APC thugs to cordon off the RAC centre with the support of the army and prevented the elections from holding in that Local Government Area.
“At Okrika, APC thugs snatched election materials from four riverine wards to an unknown destination, also with the support of the army. This same scenario was repeated in parts of Ahoada West, Asari Toru, Emouha Degema, and Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Areas of the State.
“Again, in the ensuring confusion and anarchy the army shot and killed a youth corper as well as an INEC’s ad hoc staff in Emouha and Degema Local Government Areas respectively”, he said.
Governor Wike added: “In the week preceding yesterday’s elections, various communities and interests groups of the PDP in Rivers State issued comprehensive press statements alerting the nation about their fears and concerns over the unrefuted conspiracy by the trio of Rotimi Amaechi, Major-General Jamil Sarham and Victor Akin Fakorede to violently scuttle the peaceful conduct of the general elections in Rivers State”.