From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has advised the Federal Government to ensure that rule of law and due process is followed in the prosecution of the leader of proscribed separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The governor said conscientious effort must be made by the Government to allay the fears of some Nigerians that Kanu’s prosecution is ethnically motivated.
Governor Wike made the assertion in a TV interview, explaining that regardless of the differences the arrested IPOB leader has with Rivers State Government, due process must be followed in his prosecution.
He stated that for the Federal Government to demonstrate its resolve to address insecurity crisis facing the country, the same dragnet deployed to arrest Kanu must be extended to bandits and Miyetti Allah militias terrorising the country.
‘We must not make hullabaloo about the prosecution of Nnamdi Kanu. I don’t agree with his principle. I have come out and said you (Kanu) cannot annex my state to be your own. But that does not mean that you’ll not allow the law to take its course,’ the Rivers governor stated.
The governor insisted that Government must arrest every wanted terrorist on its watch list and ensure they are brought to book.
‘You cannot afford to discriminate at this point. You cannot say because Nnamdi Kanu is from a particular area let us prosecute him. The same thing must apply to all other people, the bandits, Miyetti Allah.’
Speaking on the defection of some governors from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the governor said those who have defected were merely seeking protection from persecution and prosecution in the ruling party.
He explained that none of the governors who defected from the PDP provided any cogent reason to justify their action.
Responding to a question on the PDP’s decision to proceed to court against Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle to vacate his position following his defection to the APC, Governor Wike said the PDP would be justified if that happens since it was the party that got the judgement that ushered him (Matawalle) to office.
Governor Wike expressed optimism that the National Working Committee of the PDP will take all necessary legal measures to protect the Zamfara State Deputy Governor, who refused to jump ship with Governor Matawalle.
According to the governor President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of his Special Assistant on Social Media, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) representing Delta State is a demonstration that he would not ensure free, fair and credible selection in 2023.