* Wike exclaims: 50 armed men, what has Nigeria come to?
* Warns whoever is behind it: Back off or we will fight back
By Codratus Godson
The embattled former acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) did not travel to Abuja to testify before the House of Representatives Committee probing the Commission due to the early morning battles in her residence in Port Harcourt requiring the rescue mission led by Gov Nyesom Wike.
This is as the governor has demanded for full investigations from the Inspector General of Police. Governor Wike warned whoever was behind the failed abduction to back off or “we will fight back”.
Close sources confirmed at 6.15pm that Dr Nunieh could not make the trip to Abuja after all, meaning that she did not testify on the scheduled time and date. This is expected to up the sensation around her appearance whenever she eventually would appear. The drama may also shoot her up as a heroine in the ongoing saga between her and the Minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Sen Godswill Akpabio, who is being accused of fleecing the NDDC.
The governor who viewed the incident as failed abduction wondered what Nigeria has come to for 50 armed men to lay siege at the home of a woman who was to appear before the House of Representatives. The operatives claimed to come from the Inspector General’s Unit in Rivers State.
The governor thus urged the IGP to investigate the circumstances that led to over 50 armed policemen storming the Port Harcourt residence of Dr Nunieh at 4am on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
Governor Wike who was on ground to frustrate the attempted abduction, berated those self-styled armed policemen who claimed to be members of the Inspector General Monitoring Unit.
The governor said under a civilised society, the proper thing to do is to invite her to answer to any allegation.
But to storm her residence at such an unholy hour, the governor said, suggests some sinister motive that should not be tolerated.
“What has happened today is a disgrace. Who knows what would have happened to her if they had gained access to her main room. I went there personally to see things for myself and rescued her.
“She is supposed to testify before the House of Representatives Committee and here we are having armed men wanting to abduct her.
“We came out to protect our daughter and we will do so to every Rivers citizen. That is the oath of office I swore to. It doesn’t matter the political affiliation. We will not allow anybody to destroy Rivers state.
“It is so unfortunate and I cry for this country concerning the ways things are going. They didn’t have a warrant of arrest, but would storm somebody’s house, in fact, the State Commissioner of Police is not aware.
“So, tell me how something will happen in a state and the Commissioner of Police is not aware. They said it’s the Inspector General Monitoring Unit. So, we have such a unit taking over the responsibility of crime fighting in a state and the Commissioner of Police is not aware. I can also assume too that the Inspector General of Police is not aware. He should investigate it,” he said.
The governor also called on governors of states that make up the NDDC to ensure that their citizens do not have a hand in the planned abduction of the former Managing Director of NDDC.
“If there is any allegation of crime against her, I will not back her, but you can’t kill her for no established crime. I don’t know who’s responsible, but whoever is behind it should not take Rivers State for granted because we will fight back.
“From what has happened now, I want to say that Rivers State is fully out. Anybody who is responsible for this attempted abduction of our daughter, should know that enough is enough.
“They can’t treat her as a common criminal. I am sure that President Muhammadu Buhari is not aware of this.
“All the Niger Delta States should find out if any of their citizens have a hand in the unfortunate incident and call on such people to leave our daughter alone. She is no longer the Managing Director of NDDC.
“The way things are going now, it seems people want to destroy Rivers State and it is unacceptable.
“Using the police to carry out abduction of citizens should not be encouraged. A similar incident had happened in this state before when they wanted to use the same style to abduct a serving Judge.
Dr Nunieh who thanked Governor Wike for coming to her rescue, said the armed policemen came about 4am, broke into her premises but were stopped by the security door leading to her main room.
“Those who told me the Commissioner of Police was downstairs lied because it was his deputy that actually came. I opened the door, and they wanted to grab me. I now pushed back the door and locked it and went upstairs.
“So, my governor came, asked them for the warrant of arrest and why they did not invite me to the police station instead of attempting to abduct a woman like a criminal.
“The governor took me away in his car and I am taking refuge in Government House. I want to thank His Excellency for keeping to his word that nothing should happen to a daughter of Rivers State.
“I was supposed to be going to Abuja today to make my submission before the Committee of the House of Representatives. I am sure the motive was to stop me,” she said.
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‘Let nothing happen to our daughter’- Gov Wike
By Codratus Godson
Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who easily takes up wars and battles has warned against any harm coming the way of an embattled Rivers daughter, Dr Joi Nunieh.
The governor said nothing should happen to the Rivers daughter in the festering fray between Akwa Ibom-born minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, and Rivers-born Joi Nunieh, immediate past acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Senator Akpabio removed Nunieh from the NDDC and replaced her with Bayelsa-born Daniel Pondei, a professor of virology from the Niger Delta University (NDU) but Nunieh has bounced back to lay damaging allegations against the minister at the National Assembly and in television interviews.
These have led to calls for either the removal of the minister or shut down of the NDDC, but the minister has questioned the stability of character of the woman and defended himself saying he did not wrong. To make the accusations stick, Nunieh, daughter of first Ogoni lawyer, revealed how she slapped the minister at a guest house in Abuja to rebuff his advances on her.
Fearing that the dispute may lead to harm as most top politicians easily resort to, the Rivers State governor, who was a top Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader with Akpabio before the minister defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), has issued stern warning against any thought of harming Nunieh.
In a statement in Port Harcourt Tuesday, July 14, 2020, the state government said it has viewed with concern, the recent developments at the NDDC in which the name of their daughter, Joi Nunieh has been dragged into.
The statement signed by the Commissioner of Information and Communications, Paulinus Msirim, said; “We hereby call on those involved in the ongoing investigations in the NDDC to ensure that Dr. Joi Nunieh does not suffer any harm in the course of their undertakings.
”We wish to state categorically that the Rivers State Government will never support any action that will prevent or jeopardize the laudable intentions of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, to positively reposition the NDDC and fulfill the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta.
”However, we wish to state that while we are not interested in identifying with the present unfolding drama in the NDDC, we will not however fail to protect our daughter from actual harm or perceived danger.
”The State owes it as a duty to protect her citizens from danger no matter their political affiliation and we cannot fold our hands and watch anyone harm her or indeed any Rivers citizen. We advise those involved in the present altercations in the NDDC to thread with caution in their actions and utterances.”
Reactions are training the warning as some say the ball is in the court of the Akwa Ibom State government to declare security support to their own son, Akpabio. Many observe that Nunieh, the Rivers daughter, has an Akwa Ibom top aide, showing that when the going was good, states did not matter.