Elders under the aegis of Rivers State Elders’ Consultative Council have described the police report on the bribery allegations against the state Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as a calculated attempt to stop the moving train of the people of the state and vowed to stop it by all legal means.
The elders’ opinion was contained in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Chief Granville Abiye Georgewill, wondering where the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris and his panel got the N1000 denomination and bundles of money they displayed for the world to see on Tuesday.
“It even casts more doubt when the IG claimed that all the money are from a particular bank which gives the impression that all the 23 INEC staff (Electoral Officers ) operate one bank, wonders shall not end,” they observed.
Rising from an emergency meeting of the body, the elders recalled that it was becoming unbearable that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government at the centre has decided to single out their son, Wike and his party to test their weakness and unpreparedness in the fight against crime and criminality in the county.
They were emphatic: “The elders and the good people of Rivers State will no longer tolerate a situation where some persons or group of persons would be masquerading federal might to avenge what they consider a defeat of their political ambitions.
“It is not in doubt that Rivers State is PDP. It is also not in doubt that Wike has earned the respect, loyalty and support of the people of the state following his unprecedented landmark infrastructural developments in the state, in spite of lean resources and distractions.
“This should not attract enmity to him nor to the state, rather he should be commended and appreciated by all, borrowing a leaf from both The Sun Newspaper and Daily Independent Newspaper who found him worthy of being conferred with the title of the Best Performing Governor of the Year 2016,” the elders contended.
The elders hinted that a world press conference would be organised to articulate all the injustices meted by the federal government on the state, to draw the attention of the international community to what is actually happening in the country, particularly in the state.
They advised all Rivers people to remain calm and continue to support the efforts of the governor in his determination to put the state in the international map of progress and prosperity.
Also, a civil society, Network for Transparency, Equity and Fairness, has described the conclusions in the police report as not only hasty but mischievous, malicious and politically-motivated.
In a statement signed by the president, Dr. Kemakolam Steve Nwofor, the group said: “It is unfortunate and embarrassingly disgraceful that the police authority will want Nigerians and indeed the world to believe them, that in an election day in this country the government of Rivers State gave bribe to INEC or other officials connected with the election.
“It is very obvious that the police or the APC, led federal government would need to find some other reasons to vent their anger on Wike, who they are out to decimate as they have found him unbeatable.”
The civil society group is worried that the police have so degenerated in the fight against opponents of the PDP, noting however that, “if they don’t show it in the so-called fight against corruption; they do so in the fight against insecurity. We thought the injustice will stop as selective fight against corruption but we can now see it in all areas, no more borders.
“So the police want us to believe that only PDP gave bribe if any, and the APC did not. This is arrant nonsense, and the earlier the federal government stops chasing shadows the better for them as that report is dead on arrival,” the group emphasised.
They advised the Wike-led state government not to loose sleep as the mistakes of the police in their hasty report has already exonerated and vindicated them, that the APC-led federal government is determined to stifle the opposition to surrender, adding that only time would tell how far they can go.