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Dakuku Peterside berates Wike over offer on criminals in Rivers

DG NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside
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By Dr. Dakuku Peterside
Wike’s latest offer on criminals, another smokescreen to cover failure

The latest broadcast by Rivers State Governor, Ezebuwon Nyesom
Wike, CON, GSSRS in which he named and placed cash ransom on certain 32
verified notorious cultists, kidnappers, terrorists and murderers in 12
local government areas is a mere smokescreen to cover the failure of his regime
to protect the people he swore to an oath to protect.

That speech is nothing but an attempt by Wike to massage a people
already traumatised, who daily bear the marks of their bruised pride. The agony
of this situation is exacerbated by the knowledge that while Rivers burnt and
roasted, Wike cared less. 
In his Monday speech,
Wike made claims that need further interrogation to actually determine their
validity, or, it was an arm of a state propaganda.

The first that needs scrutiny is Wike’s allusion that because he
visited the families of the bereaved in Omoku and pledged N200 million ransom
on the alleged killers on New Year Day, the chief suspect, Johnson Onyedibia,
aka Don Wani, was gunned down.  

The fact is that in a state where a
sitting governor values the lives of subjects, such calamity would have
warranted a visit same day. But it took Wike days and that was after he had
been informed that President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, was sending the Interior
Minister to visit Omoku. So, in the face of this even Wike’s visit to Omoku
belies sincere grief for the families.

As always, rather than own up to obvious failure, Gov. Wike made
an unsubstantiated allegation against an unnamed “former governor and his
ilk”, claiming they had interfered with the state government’s amnesty
programme. Lies, no matter how long told, will never cover the truth which in
this instance is that Wike’s Amnesty programme was not planned to end
insecurity in Rivers State but to offer state cover to designated criminals for
purposes known to their patrons.
In his warped understanding of governance, Wike believes that
offering financial baits would turn his page of complicity in this whole saga
around. Rivers people cannot be fooled by this display of ineptitude. Wike’s
offer of another tranche of cash on criminals is no remediation for the pains,
loss and agony caused families.

Leadership is humane. This is an attribute grossly lacking in the
man who oversees the once-sought-after Rivers State. How can Wike face families
whose breadwinners and loved ones were gruesomely murdered by the criminals to
tell them that oil companies, other politicians outside his fold, Federal
security agencies were liable for the murder of their loved ones? 

How can Wike
stand against good conscience and the families of the 23 massacred on New
Year’s Eve in Omoku, to absolve himself of their death being the state Chief
Security Officer of the state? Has Wike bothered to empathize with Egbeda
community for the gruesome murder of her mothers, father, sons and daughters a
few days back?  The situation in Andoni is no less worrisome. Can
Wike in good conscience, absolve himself in the bloodbath that has turned the
state into “Rivers of Blood”? Good conscience would not absolve the guilty.

Would he as the Chief Security Officer of the state, with
unhindered access to daily security statistics, feign ignorance of black spots
and flashpoints in the state he was expected to be governor? 

Wike cannot deny that there existed a functional security
architecture the previous Administration had instituted that secured the state
and made it inhabitable. Being a key player in that Administration, at least,
in its early days, offered him huge access into that structure. But Wike,
rather than strengthen it, blew all away in his attempt to erase records of his
predecessors. In the face of this, if anybody played bet with the lives of
Rivers people, it was Wike.  
Wike’s speech was a warped absolution that presented those persons
named as the reason the state had collapsed right in his hands. Nothing can be
farther from the truth than that. 

The governor had a lot of grace period to have moved to save the
several lives of innocent, law-abiding Rivers people and residents lost to the
carnage and orgy of bloodletting imposed on Rivers State by criminals and their

What Wike has done, therefore, amounts to submitting to an
admittance that he reneged on his oath of office, and so, had failed Rivers

If not, how could it take Wike over 30 months to admit in public
that the real governors of Rivers State were criminals? 

Rivers State is already flat. The statistics say so. In its recent
listing, a verified agency listed the state as the most miserable state to live
in Nigeria at 79.37% rate. With unemployment and underemployment rate
at 61.4, the highest in the country, and inflation
at 18.01%, the state is already broken. 

The best that Wike can do for the state at the moment, is to end
this blame-game and sincerely, for the sake of the state, and for the memory of
those whose lives had been brutally ended due to the state’s siddon-look,
work with the Federal Government to end this tragedy.
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