Federal Agencies Can’t Intimidate Me – Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that no level of intimidation or blackmail from federal agencies would scare him into “selling out the state to external predators,” Thisday reports.
This is as the Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Magnus Abe, has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would challenge the Commission of Inquiry set up by Wike to investigate the violence and other matters that occurred during the December 10 re-run elections in Rivers State.
Abe also said lawmakers elected on the platform of the APC would forcefully match into the state House of Assembly to take part in the deliberations of the assembly since the Speaker had refused to swear them in.
Speaking when he granted audience to the Rivers State Elders Council of Ministers (RISECOM) yesterday, Wike urged Rivers people not to panic “because nobody can take the state by force despite the sustained blackmail by the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS).”
Wike said: “This is a turbulent period. However, we will overcome. They can cow other governors, but not me. None of them gave me the mandate. The people of Rivers State gave me this mandate and I will never sell the interest of this state for whatever reason. I will not bring out the money of Rivers State to sponsor other people outside the state.”
He told the Christian leaders that security agencies were frustrating the security architecture of the state to further their devilish plot to declare a state of emergency and thereafter bring a lackey to loot the state.
He denied sponsoring anyone to protest in Abuja against the Federal Government, pointing out that those who planned to protest in his favour must have taken a cue from those who protested against him in Abuja.
“If they like, let them bring all manner of accusations daily, it will not cow me. Three days ago, they sponsored protests against me in Abuja with the Police leading the protesters.
“It is so unfortunate how they can descend so low. The DSS are unhappy because I stopped them from kidnapping a judge. Till today, they are yet to invite that particular judge.”
The governor said: “I never sponsored anyone to protest. Assuming people want to protest, are we not in a democracy?
“If I am the one who is the sponsor of the planned protest in my favour, who sponsored the protests against me? It means they are the people who sponsored the protests”.
He assured the Christian leaders that he remains committed to the development of the state and the welfare of her people.
In his remarks, Leader of RISECOM, Archbishop of Niger Delta Province, Most Rev Ignatius Kattey, commended the governor for his developmental strides in the state.
Also speaking, Methodist Archbishop of Port Harcourt, Most Rev Agwu, urged the governor to stand firm despite the persecution.
Meanwhile, Senator Abe has said the APC would challenge the Commission of Inquiry set up by Wike to investigate the act of violence and other matters that occurred during the December 10 re-run elections in Rivers State.
Speaking at a media parley in Port Harcourt, Abe said although the setting up of the commission by the governor appeared amusing, “there is the need to challenge it in court as such commission is intended to produce documented indictment on the leaders of APC.”
“I think this is the joke of the year. Like every other joke that has been reduced to pen and paper, we are going to treat it seriously. We will challenge that so-called commission in the Court,” he said.
Abe said it had become necessary to challenge the commission because such commission should be unbiased but past commissions set up by the governor had demonstrated that the intention was to indict APC members and exonerate PDP members from any culpability.
He added that the setting up of the commission runs against the legal maxim that one cannot be a judge in his own case.
The former Secretary to Rivers State Government stated that the governor chose to set up the commission having heard that the Inspector-General of Police had commenced investigation into some allegations against the governor.
“Because the Inspector-General of Police has asked the Police to investigate allegations and the circumstance of the things that happened here and then the chief suspect says that he has no confidence in the investigation of the Police and went ahead to setup his own inquiry. This is a man that for the past one week has done nothing but to express his bias. He has already indicted everybody that he can indict and then he is setting up a commission of inquiry.
“How would any other person have confidence in that kind of inquiry when his bias is known; his prejudice is clear? Like every other commission that has been set up by this administration, it is design with one thing and only one thing in mind to indict leaders of All Progressives Congress in Rivers State”.
In a related development, the APC in Rivers State has threatened that the law makers elected on the platform of its party would match into the Rivers State House of Assembly to participate in the deliberations of the House.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, Abe said the option had become expedient following the insistence of Wike that the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly would not swear them in.
“If the Speaker will not swear them in, they will match into the House of Assembly and take their place because they have been returned,” he said.
Abe condemned the decision of the governor of Rivers State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to swear in the duly elected APC members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, describing it as rascality and impunity.
“This kind of rascality and impunity that we are experiencing in Rivers State will not be allowed and tolerated,” he declared.
He urged well-meaning Nigerians to condemn the actions of the governor as such could derail our democracy.
Abe contended that swearing-in of members of the House was not constitutional but ceremonial, arguing that in the absence of the swearing-in, the elected legislators have the right to participate in the deliberations.
“There is no constitutional requirement for swearing-in law makers in the country. It is a ceremony, which the Speaker may perform if he so chooses. If he chooses not to swear them in, that cannot in anyway de-legitimize their membership of the House of Assembly. So, the Speaker has a choice. He can swear them in, which is what he is expected to do as the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly or he can refuse and they will go into the House of Assembly and take their seats without his permission because he has no right to sit as a tribunal over the return of any legislator,” he said.
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