Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says he escaped assassination Thursday evening while going to have meeting with some political associates.
Gov Wike told foreign vistors that soldiers believed o be from the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army Thirsday night plotted to kill him but said it di not work. He said he had such signs on the eve of the rescheduled elections (February 15) but that this time, he was shocked to find that he had company of soldiers trailing him. He said it was along Abacha Road in the New GRA near Algate Hotel where he said he heard his security details shouting that the soldiers were behind them. He did not disclose how the assassination proper began and how he escaped.
The governor narrated this to a team of UK election observers led by the Political Officer of the British High Commission in Nigeria, Louis Edwards. The governor laid the blame squaely on soldiers he said were sent by the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Jamil Sarham. He said the soldiers confronted his security details.
Gov Wike also accused the Army of supplying fake uniforms to militants he said were hired by the APC for the purpose of disrupting the elections and unleashing mayhem.
Speaking after a meeting with officials of the British High Commission at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Friday, Gov Wike said the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army has been taking very unprofessional measures to silence PDP members.
He said that he has informed the British High Commission and other foreign missions of the anti-democratic actions of the security forces, especially the Nigerian Army.
He said: “Last night; the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army plotted an assassination on my life. Thank God, that was not successful. On Friday, 15th of February, a day to the 16th of February, the first date for the elections before it was rescheduled, the GOC sent soldiers to cordone off my private residence.
“Yesterday, I was shocked that when I left Government House to see some political leaders, soldiers were trailing me. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have military security details.
“Along Abacha Road where you have Algate Hotel, to my surprise, I heard my security men shouting that the soldiers were behind us.”
Wike said: “I have said this severally about the GOC of the 6 Division that nobody should kill because he was promised the position of Chief of Army Staff “.
The governor said that the GOC of the Division can be promoted a Chief of Army Staff without killing anyone. He said that there was no need to kill innocent people for a personal ambition.
He said that Rivers State was strategically positioned in Nigeria and should not be destabilised for political goals.
“Rivers State is so important to this country. The economy of Nigeria cannot survive without Rivers State. By what they are doing, they are scaring investors away”, Governor Wike said.
He urged the President to talk to the Army to reduce their level of partisanship and illegal activities ahead of the elections.
“The GOC held a meeting with the soldiers yesterday and said they must do everything they can to ensure that the President wins. That is not good. Allow Nigerians to support whoever they want to support”, he said.
He said there is no reason for any fight in the state because the APC is not running the Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly Elections in Rivers State.
He regretted that the Nigeria Army has started arresting PDP in Eleme and other Local Government Areas. He said that 182 persons have been penciled down for arrest by the Army.
Governor Wike decried the supply of military uniforms to APC militants because itwould have megative post elections consequences.
Earlier, the Political Officer of the British High Commission in Nigeria, Louis Edwards said that they were in the state to observe the elections.
She said that the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Rivers State assured her that things would work well. She said that she is looking forward to peaceful Elections.
(Source: Govt House Press Unit, PH)