Wike’s half-hearted response to the serious issue of Biafra protests portrays grave incompetence and possible collusion

The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, notes with heavy heart the level of ineptitude displayed by the Rivers State Government following the spate of violence and disruption of social and economic activities imposed on the peaceful people and residents of Rivers State especially Port Harcourt and environs on Tuesday by groups of protesters under the aegis of indigenous people of Biafra.

More disturbing to the APC is the fact that even as security agents battled with extreme caution to contain the sporadic protesting groups, the Rivers State Government suddenly developed inexplicable laissez-faire attitude making many to believe that the protests enjoyed the tacit support of the government.

However, given the sensitive question of Biafra and indeed any self-determination agitation for that matter, the APC advisedly observed dignified quietude, not wanting to be seen to play politics with a very serious issue of national security. This was despite the discomfort, assault and humiliation that innocent people suffered in the hands of the irate mobs at several locations in Port Harcourt and environs.

The APC condemns, with every vehemence it can muster, the obvious incompetence and cluelessness the Rivers State Government displayed before and throughout the period the orgy of protests lasted. We see the eventual broadcast by Gov. Nyesom Wike condemning and banning further pro-Biafra protests as medicine-after-death, face-saving and dishonest. A purposeful and focussed government was supposed to have understood the enormity and implication of a sensitive issue such as Biafra agitation and timeously mobilized and engaged critical sections of the populace such as the traditional leaders and others to reject any attempts by external agitators from encroaching and desecrating the sanctity of the territorial integrity of Rivers State under whatever guise.

For the avoidance of doubt, the APC is not averse to any group in Nigeria embarking on any form of lawful agitation but we frown at unlawfully interfering with the peaceful existence of others in the name of agitation or protest as have happened twice in the past couple of weeks in Port Harcourt. We detest any group of agitators leaving their lawful locations to violate the territorial integrity of Rivers State in the name of protest. For example, the indigenous people of Ogoni have not at any time taken their agitation for a better life for their people outside of Rivers State.

The APC condemns the barbaric and unwarranted attack on innocent people of all shades and background by the protesters. We also condemn the attack and destruction of symbols of state and billboards of churches by the Biafra protesters.

However, the APC believes that the Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike is yet to brief Rivers people of the content of demand presented to him by the Biafra protesters when they marched to Government House, Port Harcourt during the first protest. Curiously, the same protesters engaged security agents at Eleme Junction yesterday, insisting that they be allowed to visit Government House, Port Harcourt to register their protest with the governor the second time. We urge Gov Nyesom Wike to go beyond his superficial broadcast of yesterday and tell the honest story behind the seeming romance between him and the Biafra agitators.

Chris Finebone

State Publicity Secretary

Wed, November 11, 2015

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