From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said by politicising insecurity, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government has plunged the security-troubled states into an unimaginable scale of banditry that might not end soon.
Governor Wike spoke when he received the Board of Editors of Independent Newspapers Limited, led by the company’s Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Steve Omanufeme, at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor said when Rivers experienced issues of insecurity in 2015, he ran to the Federal Government, but rather than offering support, they dismissed it as politics out of hatred for the state and desire to see they remain ungovernable.
“They didn’t send special forces to Rivers as they’re sending to other states now. They refused to support me because they didn’t want the state to be governable.
“Crime knows no boundary. It can be you tomorrow. If they had brought out zeal to fight crime with seriousness and collaboration, irrespective of the party you belong, good result will be achieved.
“Banditry will never end since they’ve politicised security. I told them don’t politicise security. They’re paying the price now. Whatever you sow, you will reap. If you sow peace, you’ll reap peace. If you sow trouble, trouble will always be with you.”
The Rivers governor said it was difficult to fight crime in situations when cultists were arrested, people go to Abuja to tell the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of Army Staff (CAS) that those arrested were their boys just to secure their release and let them off the hook.
On the denials trailing the $1 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, he said it was shameful that a government that is fighting corruption would condole such, allowing both the money and the weapons to go missing, unaccounted for.
“Now, the national security adviser says the $1 billion they took from our Excess Crude Account without even paying us our 13 percent derivation is gone. They said they’ve not seen the weapons.
“But, this one the NSA is saying they misquoted him; I tell you, nobody is misquoting anything. We are aware that there was no weapon.
“Even CAS said he didn’t collect money. So, where did the money go to? This is a government fighting corruption and the media is not talking,” he said.
Governor Wike berated the media for losing their strength of voice to speak truth to authority with vehemence as they did during the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.
“In 2014, you were bought over to pull down the government of Jonathan.
“I had told Trade Union Congress the other day, and asked then where are you that you see things in Nigeria getting worse; insecurity, increase in price of everything and you say nothing.
“Now, you’ll not pull down Nigeria again because it is not a minority man that is in power. Where is the voice of the people? Have your mouth be sealed and you can’t talk again?”
Omanufeme said they brought the notification of award as Governor of the Year, 2020, for Infrastructure Development to Wike.
He said the Board of Editors met and affirmed that Governor Wike has been consistent even in his second tenure in developing infrastructure that includes roads, using the Real Madrid Football Academy to empower Rivers youths, and thriving as strong, but lone voice speaking truth to power always.