2nd March, 2016
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Thousands of youths from the Rivers South East Senatorial District on Wednesday took to the streets of Bori, headquarters of Khana local government area of Rivers State, in protest over the recent alleged hate speeches made by Governor Nyesom Wike, against their prominent sons and leaders.
They said that their peaceful walk was in the pursuit of the Ogoni non-violence struggle.
The protesters, who came from all the seven local government areas that make up the Rivers South East senatorial district, carried placards with the inscription, “Wike, leave Magnus Abe alone”, “Wike, stop bringing guns to Ogoni”, “Concentrate on governance, Wike”, “Wike, go and campaign in Ikwerre, respect Abe and Barry Mpigi”, amongst others.
Addressing the protesters, Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Oji Ngofa, said the people of the senatorial district, and Ogoni ethnic nationality in particular, have suffered enough of divide and rule tactics, pointing out that hate speeches and instigation of crisis by external forces have caused a lot of pains to the people of the district.
Ngofa, who is former chairman of Eleme local government area of the state, described Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, and Hon. Barry Mpigi, both candidates of the APC for the March 19, National Assembly rerun elections, as respected sons of the Ogoni ethnic nationality.
While calling on Wike to face governance, the APC scribe declared his support for the presence of the military in Bori, saying it is in the interest of the people of the Rivers South East Senatorial District, considering the high level of insecurity in the area.
Also addressing the protesters, former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly representing Khana Constituency 1, Hon. Legborsi Nwidadah, wondered why the governor chose to blame his political opponents instead of calling for an investigation into the attack on soldiers in Ogoni communities.
Nwidadah also wondered why Wike has not come out to condemn the large catche of arms and ammunition that were recovered by the military at the residence of wanted former Niger Delta militant, Solomon Ndigbara (a.k.a. Osama Bin Laden) in Yeghe community, Gokana Local Government area of the state.
In his own speech, President General of Ogoni Democratic Movement and organizer of the protest March, Sir Godwin Bazari, urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to ignore the plea by the people of Rivers South-East Senatorial District to conduct a proper investigation into the remote cause of the burning down of Senator Magnus Abe’s Senatorial Liaison Office and the attendant violence that occurred in Bori, in order to punish the culprits.