TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that the Nigerian Army staged a coup against the state during the 2019 elections, describing its actions as the worst in the nation’s democratic history.
Wike stated this when he addressed the Joint House of Representatives Committees on Army, Police, Human Rights and Justice at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He added that the Nigerian Army acted illegally because its personnel were working to impose a pre-determined leadership on Rivers.
He said: “It is really unfortunate. All of us know that there was a coup in this state, organised by the Nigerian Army. In the history of this country, it has never happened where during the ordinary election, the army will begin to kill people for no just cause.
“Because they believe a particular person or a particular party must win, it does not matter how many people die. It was shown on national television. We watched how the army invaded the whole electoral commission,” Wike noted.
The state governor regretted that the Federal government had never worked to assist Rivers government to fight insecurity.
“This is the only state the Federal government has never assisted to fight insecurity. Instead of us to team up and fight insecurity, you politicise it.
“Even if you make recommendations, nothing will happen. I don’t know whether we are in a military regime or civil administration,” he said.
The governor noted that aside the army, the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) has been a major anti-democratic force in the state, since the 2016 rerun elections.
He pointed out that the F-SARS murdered a Doctorate Degree (PhD) holder and Chartered Accountant in cold blood simply because they wanted to subvert the will of the people.
Governor Wike wondered why the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army is still unpunished, despite the negative roles he allegedly played during the elections.
“The GOC here is a politician. Nothing has happened to him because he was sent. If it was when the country was a country, you cannot be keeping that GOC. He is sabotaging the security network,” he said.
He suggested that urgent measures should be taken to re-jig the security architecture of the country, in view of the nationwide security challenges.
The governor said rather than address the security challenges facing the country, security agencies moved against critics of security failures.
Earlier, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Army, Rimande, Shawule Kwewum, said that they were in the state to investigate the killings by the F-SARS on the basis of a motion by the member representing Obio/Akpor Federal constituency, Mr. Kingsley Chinda, on the killing of Dr. Ferry Gberegbe during the elections.
He said that the joint House of Representatives Committees were in the state on a fact-finding mission.
He said that the committees would sit down and allow all the stakeholders to state their positions for the committee to arrive at the truth and make relevant recommendations.
The federal lawmaker said that there was a correlation between insecurity and under-development.
He said that countries that suffer insecurity hardly make progress.
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