25th March, 2016
The Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has taken notice of the pronouncement by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike that he has set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violence and killings that occurred during the March 19, rerun legislative elections in the state.
“The APC condemns this action as it is self-serving and a mere smokescreen by the governor to rubbish his political opponents and divert attention from the violence and deaths he planted, nurtured and carried out during the Rivers State rerun elections,” a statement by the state publicity secretary, Chris Finebone said.
The APC recalls that following the killings associated with the 2015 electoral violence in Rivers State in 2015, the then governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi set up the Prof Chidi Odinkalu Commission to unravel the issues behind the killings. “Nyesom Wike and the PDP swiftly filed suit No. FHC/PHC/256/2015 at a Port Harcourt against the sitting of that Commission. One of the arguments by the PDP and Nyesom Wike was that the former governor was an interested party in what happened during the elections and therefore should not have set up the panel.”
“This time, Gov. Nyesom Wike is on record for having threatened violence and death to stakeholders long before and even during the rerun elections. There is no doubt that the several threats Nyseom Wike issued to his supporters and associates gave rise to the widespread and wanton killings by the PDP and their acolytes. Therefore, where lies the enabling neutrality and moral high ground for Gov. Nyesom Wike to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate a matter in which he is the mastermind-in-chief?”
“The APC wishes to inform Governor Nyesom Wike to consider the matter of the commission a total waste of time and resources, and dead on arrival. Taking a look at the members of the commission, the APC would like to advise Wike to look for a more honest means of compensating his supporters and their relations rather than sending them on a journey to nowhere or one that will suffer a still-birth.
The APC also commented on what it described as “Wike’s crocodile tears for the NYSC”. “The APC finds the attempts by Gov. Nyesom Wike to showcase himself as a friend of the NYSC following the killing of an NYSC member who served as an INEC ad-hoc staff, Okonta Samuel, with call-up number RV/15B/5539, and the increase of Corpers’ allowances announced by the governor as dim-witted actions aimed at bribing Youth Corp members for the suspended rerun elections not necessarily for the love of NYSC members.
“It is shocking that after Gov Wike created the atmosphere that led to the death of late Okonta Samuel, the governor has since embarked on shameless actions meant to deceive Corp members and other Nigerians.
“As an INEC ad-hoc staff, late Samuel Okonta and his colleagues were asked by Nyesom Wike to write their will because they might be killed during the rerun elections. After Wike’s threat materialised, it was shocking to see the governor rush to sign the condolence register of late Samuel Okonta. By signing the condolence register, the APC believes that Gov. Wike actually countersigned the will written by late Okonta on the advice of the governor.
“Not done with his familiar ego trip in political opportunism, Gov. Wike announced that the Rivers State Government will immortalise the dead Corp member. However, the APC wishes to advise Nyesom Wike that members of the NYSC and others who function as INEC ad-hoc and permanent staff would prefer to remain alive than to be sent to their early graves and later immortalised by Nyesom Wike and his government. No amount of monetary inducements and mundane accolades is worth the death of anyone under any circumstances.”