The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has slammed the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, over his claim that he owns the political structure in Rivers State.
In a statement signed on Friday by its President, Prof. Benjamin Ogele Okaba, the group posited that the political structure in Rivers should not and cannot be anyone’s personal property, including Wike.
The INC said Wike inherited the political architecture from past governors of the state and should also pass the structure to his successor, stressing that he cannot lay claim to it anymore.
The group stated that the Ijaws would stand for and by one of their own, Governor Siminalayi Fubara because no one has identified a single wrong or crime he has committed against the state.
The statement reads: “We expect that in the same manner that the PDP structure built by Dr. Peter Odili sustained by Celestine Omehia and Rotimi Amaechi was bequeathed to Mr Wike, the former governor should, as a matter of political tradition, also properly and completely relinquish the same to his successor.
“It is on record that Mr Wike served out his two tenures peacefully without being terrorized, hounded and haunted by his major benefactors- the Ijaws who set the stage for him to attain his much orchestrated Eldorado.
“Keeping the political structures and the incumbent governor under his armpit is an aberration with dire consequences for the human capital, political, economic and social development of the state and by extension, the Nigerian state.
“We were bothered by the provocative and unguarded comments reported to have been made by Mr Wike at different public fora that the crisis in Rivers State is purely state politics, internal wrangling and is in no way an ethnic issue…and that political structures of the state belong to me and I will not see anyone take them from me, impeachment is not a military coup, it is provided for under the constitution.
“The Ijaws will stand for and by one of their own – His Excellency Siminalayi Fubara, particularly because no one has identified a single wrong or crime he has committed against the state as a citizen and as governor to warrant an impeachment attempt or any form of attack. It is important to note that politics is just one of the vital components of a people’s culture, therefore, we have no apologies for being politically conscious of the damning existential threat the case in point portends.
“Siminalayi Fubara has received accolades from all the tribes and sections of Rivers State and beyond as a technocrat with a robust sense of public service background, open and kind-hearted gentleman and very unassuming, humane, prudent of the manager of the meagre resources available to him, and committed to the even development of the state; who does things in accordance with laid down rules and regulations and with the fear of the Almighty God.
“In Rivers State, across political party lines and ethnic divide, the massive condemnation of the attempted “civil coup d’etat” and the emergent pro-Fubara movement must be best underscored as a liberation movement from political tyranny, spiritual strangulation and economic disarticulation.”
The group said it found the recent statement made by Rivers State PDP Elders Forum as worrisome, misplaced, lopsided and repressive.
It added: “However, we sympathize with them on their inability to summon the needed courage to speak truth to power and affluence. We unequivocally state that their views do not represent the views of the elders of the party in the state.”