Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has assured Northern elders that every ethnic group is safe in the state, even as he declared his administration’s commitment in ensuring that no ethnic group interest is undermined.
Wike, who spoke yesterday when the leaders of Northern Elders Forum (NEF) led by their Chairman, Prof. Ango-Abdullahi visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt, noted that the primary responsibility of every government is to ensure the safety of lives and properties of the people.
The Northern leaders on the visit include Prof. Ango Muhammed; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Ghali Umar Na’Abba; former NRC presidential candidate, Bashir Othman Tofa; Hakeem Baba Ahmed; and General Saleh Maina (rtd), among others, were said to be in the state to meet the Northerners in the aftermath of the EndSARS protest.
Wike, who applauded the Northern leaders for the visit, lamented that some people would do wrong and dubiously tie any effort to correct them to politics and ethnic bias just to deepen the divide among Nigerians.
The governor said: “The EndSARS protest was very peaceful in Rivers State. Oyigbo Local Government Area is one of the biggest in terms of population in the state. “Miscreants woke up one morning because people were doing EndSARS protests and began to kill innocent people.
They burnt down police stations, killed police officers and soldiers and destroyed courts. “But, when you say what you are done is wrong, and that we can’t allow it, they will say you are against a particular ethnic group. How can that be?
That action almost led to a big violence between this group and that group. I am the governor of the state, how can I allow my state to be turned to a centre of war? That can’t happen. “Nobody can sack anybody here.
Everybody has the right to live in the state. But, no group can say it is their own place. I won’t allow that. We also have the people of Rivers State, who are living outside this state. So, I can assure you that I will not do anything that will not be fair to any ethnic group.”
Wike recalled that he had raised the alarm over the danger of insecurity after a cultists killed over one 100 persons on a particular Christmas’ eve in Ogba-Egbema- Ndoni Local Government Area of the state, but regretted that the Federal Government reduced the issue to politics and today, insecurity is ravaging every state of the federation.
The governor, who recalled how FSARS brutality against Rivers people was also ignored, however, noted that he also said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued a report that indicted the FSARS Commander in the state, but instead of addressing the issues, the erring officer was rewarded and promoted.
Wike added: “The primary responsibility of every government is to make sure that life and property are protected. When that is lost, then there is nothing like governance again.