From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said the curfew imposed in the wake of attacks on security formations in the state will remain in place despite sponsored criticism against it.
The governor, who reiterated that he is not unmindful of the traffic difficulty experienced by residents of the state, particularly in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas, while trying to beat the 8:30 pm curfew, argued it was better to suffer inconveniences and be alive.
Governor Wike defended the efficacy of the night curfew while speaking at the 60th birthday celebration of the federal lawmaker who represents Rivers South East senatorial district in the Senate, Senator Barry Mpigi, in Port Harcourt.
‘Some criminals who have not been succeeding in kidnapping, have been sending people to go on radio to say the governor should be reasonable, and that they don’t want the curfew again,’ the governor said.
He added: ‘Criminals are the ones who are doing that. I will not agree. Life and property are important for me. All those criminals who have been sending people to go on the radio that they are suffering and that we should extend the curfew to 12 am, to enable them to kidnap people from 7 pm, will not succeed. Don’t waste your time.’
Governor Wike explained that the imposition of the curfew was based on security advice by law enforcement agencies, as a precaution to prevent further attacks on security formations in the state.
He enjoined residents and the people of the state to learn how to make sacrifices, suffer the inconveniences of today to achieve a better tomorrow.
According to him: ‘I want all of us to be alive to take care of our children.’
The governor also disclosed the cheering news that approval has been given for a Nigeria Law School campus to be sited in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Wike stated: ‘We have gotten approval to have a Law School in Port Harcourt. It is not about me, it is the legacy you leave. This was a Law School that was given to Port Harcourt, but the previous government rejected it and it was sent to Yenagoa.
‘Today, we have that approval that there must be a Law School in Port Harcourt. And I can assure you in six months time, our Law School will be the best Law School in Nigeria.’
He also announced that a Federal High Court in Abuja has awarded $1.1billion to the State in a lawsuit against the Federal Government.
‘The $1.1 billion is entitlements of Rivers State based on the subsisting decision of the Supreme Court over production sharing contracts arising from the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts”.
Governor Wike thanked God for His grace and benevolence toward Senator Mpigi and his family.
The governor, who recalled that his relationship with Mpigi dated back to when they were both council chairmen, urged the senator to remain a steadfast as People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart.
Chairman of the occasion and former President of the Movement of the Ogoni Survival of the People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, thanked God for the life of Senator Mpigi, whom he described as a politician with a grassroots appeal.
The celebrant, Mpigi, said he decided to celebrate his 60th birthday specifically to thank God for life, sound health and reuniting him with Governor Wike.