* As Wike says Army tried a coup in Rivers
By Codratus Godson
Dr Ferry Egberegbe was a Poly lecturer who served as agent of a political party in the elections. Sources said there was confrontation between some party people and the F-SARS and there was shooting. Dr Egberegbe fell to the bullets and died later in hospital.
Now, the Federal House of Representatives has been made to take interest into the matter, though many others were killed on both sides during the elections.
The House of Representatives has arrived in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, to probe the shooting to death of a lecturer who worked as agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the rancorous March 9, 2019 governorship elections.
The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) was said to have shot the holder of a doctorate degree in Accounting and senior lecturer in the Rivers State Polytechnic Bori, Ferry Gberegbe who died nine days after in hospital. The death caused huge uproar but Gov Nyesom Wike donated N200m immediately to the family. Four other persons were said to have been shot to death same day during confrontations between F-SARS and some youths.
Now, a PDP member of the House of Representatives, Hon Kingsley Chinda of Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency was said to have raised a motion that has led to the decision of the House to visit the state and begin the probe.
He said the House was in the state on a fact finding mission, and that the members intended to sit down and allow all the stakeholders to state their positions for the committee to arrive at the truth and make relevant recommendations.
The federal lawmaker said that there is a correlation between insecurity and under-development, and that countries that suffer insecurity hardly make progress.
Gov Wike in response stated that the Nigerian Army staged a coup against Rivers State during the elections, describing their actions as the worst in the nation’s democratic history.
Addressing the committee on Army and that of the Police, Human Rights and Justice at the Government House on Monday, Gov Wike said that the Nigerian Army acted illegally because they were working to impose a pre-determined leadership on Rivers State.
He said: “It is really unfortunate. All of us know that there was a coup in this state, organised by the Nigerian Army. In the history of this country, it has never happened where during ordinary election, Army will begin to kill people for no just cause.
“Because they believe a particular person or a particular party must win, it doesn’t matter how many people die. It was shown on National Television. We watched how the Army invaded the whole Electoral Commission”.
He regretted that the Federal Government has never worked to assist Rivers State Government fight insecurity.
“This is the only state the Federal Government has never assisted to fight insecurity. Instead of us to team up and fight insecurity, you politicize it.
“Even if you make recommendations, nothing will happen. I don’t know whether we are in a military regime or civil Administration”, he said.
The Governor noted that aside the Army, the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARs) has been a major anti-democratic force in the state, since the 2016 rerun elections.
He accused the F-SARs of ‘murdering’ a PhD holder (Chartered Accountant) in cold blood saying it was simply because they wanted to subvert the will of the people.
The governor wondered why the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army is still unpunished, despite the negative roles he said he played during the elections. “The GOC here is a politician. If it was when the country was a country, you cannot be keeping that GOC. He is sabotaging the security network”.
He suggested that urgent measures be taken to re-jig the security architecture of the country, in view of the nationwide security challenges.
The Governor said rather than address the security challenges facing the country, security agencies move against critics of security failures.