Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Deputy Governor Mrs Ipalibo Banigo has condemned the blockade on the hotel of Governor Nyesom Wike by officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force in Benin City, Edo State.
Mrs Banigo, in a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt, on Saturday said that it was unfortunate that, while the police could prevent Governor Wike, who is the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council Chairman for the 2020 Edo State gubernatorial election, to carry out his legitimate duties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors were allowed to move freely.
The Deputy Governor said the action of the police demonstrated that the Force and the APC-led Federal Government was nervous about the prospects of the APC in the Edo State governorship election.
She called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sincerely support the democratic process and ensure that the Edo people were allowed to freely decide who governs them.
The Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, on a similar note, berated the Nigeria Police for laying siege on Wike’s hotel in Benin City.
The Chairman of the council, King Dandeson Jaja, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, noted that Governor Wike was on a national assignment in Edo and should not be restricted from carrying out his duty.
The traditional rulers maintained that the Governor has a constitutional right to go anywhere in Nigeria unhindered.
‘We, as traditional rulers in Rivers State, are asking His Excellency, Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, to call on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to withdraw security men and grant the Governor free access in Edo State, as he carries on his legitimate duty.
‘The safety and security of the Governor are very paramount. We trust His Excellency, Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, to keep to his words to conduct a free and fair election in Edo State,’ the statement of the traditional rulers read..