·Says political atmosphere in the state pregnant
By Ignatius Chukwu
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze has thrown his worldwide weight behind the call for state of emergency in Rivers State.
The call began last week by the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Arc Tonye Cole, an architect and business mogul.
He had cited violent disturbances at campaign rallies especially the alleged attack at the APC rally in Diobu, Port Harcourt with suspected explosives.
Another chieftain of the APC, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a media strategist and publicist, has added his shove against the Rivers Government over the response of the state governor on Cole’s call.
Eze in a statement in Port Harcourt said says Cole was right in his demands, saying the political atmosphere in the state is tense and pregnant.
Another APC chieftain, Sogbeye Eli, spokesman of the Cole Campaign Council rather recalled that the Rivers APC governorship campaign rally grounds in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area was attacked with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and sporadic gunfire, a development which he said the Commissioner of Police denied before ordering an investigation. “No report of the investigation is made public and no arrest has been made till date.”
Eli named another disruption of to be their Andoni rally at Asarama which he said was also reported without a single arrest.
“Campaign activities of the governorship candidates of Accord, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, and the Social Democratic Party, Magnus Abe, have suffered similar unprovoked attacks at Etche, Oyigbo, Port Harcourt, Tai, and Ahoada West local council areas over the last couple of days without any deterrence measure by the State Police Command.”
He has intensified calls for the transfer of the commissioner of police.
In his message of support for the call for state of emergency, Eze erstwhile national publicity secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), said the PDP administration in Rivers State is full of men that cannot handle the deteriorating situation.
Eze said the pervading insecurity, financial sleaze, manifest corruption, and deplorable state of public infrastructure in health, education, and other critical sectors coupled with the embarrassing status of Rivers State as the poverty capital and unemployment in Nigeria call for a rapid intervention, such that only emergency rule can afford, given the exigency of time.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, had condemned the call but Eze said the Commissioner veered off the subject matter and embarked on a fruitless voyage; digging up the most unbefitting and demeaning adjectives from his grammatical archives to describe former Gov Chibuike Amaechi and Rivers APC governorship Candidate (Tonye Cole).
Saying the government should have addressed the points raised in the call for state of emergency, Eze regretted that Finebone resorted to personal attacks, accusing the Rivers APC Governorship Candidate of conniving with Amaechi to transfer state-owned assets to Sahara Energy.
He recalled that same Finebone as an Amaechi ally not long ago had who berated Wike then over same allegation of illegal sale of state-owned assets and diversion of proceeds.
Eze wondered what must have made Finebone to change his position on the innocence of Cole and Amaechi to now accuse them from Wike side.
Eze gave the history of the sale and concssioning of state assets and where the money went. He mentioned the officials who had explained that payments from proceeds of the transactions were lodged in the Rivers State Power Assets Sale Account with Access Bank, as well as the Rivers State Revenue Account at Zenith Bank.
He also quoted them to have stated: “The companies that were erroneously portrayed as fronts for looting of funds were actually those that bought the USD and made remittances of naira equivalent into the Rivers State Revenue Account with Zenith Bank.”
Eze cautioned the governor and his cohorts to stop disturbing Nigerians with distractions and face the reality that he has only few months to vacate the Rivers State Government House and prepare himself for what is ahead of him outside government.
He noted that Rivers people would not vote to consolidate corruption, maladministration, laziness, poverty, insecurity, joblessness, nepotism and highhandedness but would vote Tonye Cole and other candidates of the APC to return the state on the path of progress and even development.
Justifying the call for an emergency rule, Eze appealed to President Buhari to expedite action in that regard, stressing that the rule of law and democracy have been stifled and those who society consider as law keepers have been swayed by money and turned law breakers at the glare of the world, bowing to the whims and caprices of Gov. Wike, a bribery lord, and doing his bidding.
With the help of the Police which he said has been annexed to the Governor’s office, Eze said Wike has turned his misery into a daily distraction to other political parties in Rivers State. “He is kneeling on the neck of opposition political parties in the state through obnoxious orders and prohibitions which clearly contravene provisions of the Electoral Act and more particularly, the Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Eze said the state is run like a banana island with the governor glaringly usurping federal laws and evidently suppressing perceived political opponents in the pursuit of his selfish private vendetta. “As at today, Rivers State is sitting on a keg of gun powder. The atmosphere is pregnant and if the call for an emergency rule is not heeded, it may be delivered of a crisis capable of culminating this encasement called Rivers.