How Militants’ Got N50,000, AK-47 Rifles to Disrupt Anti-Amaechi Rally
The rampaging militants, who disrupted the pro-Rotimi Amaechi’s Save Rivers Movement (SRM) rally on Sunday at Bori, Rivers State, each got N50,000. They were given AK-47 assault rifles by politicians, it was learnt yesterday.
Impeccable sources in Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoni land and the seat of Khana Local Government Area, yesterday indicated that the militants decided to wear masks, since they were mobilised from the area by desperate anti-Amaechi politicians.
The sources also revealed that brand new AK-47 rifles, with each costing almost N500,000 were given to the militants, who were familiar with the terrain.
It was also gathered that the militants, mostly youths between 20 and 35 years, were assured of more “operations,” with the intention of making Rivers state ungovernable and Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to completely lose focus.
An ally of Amaechi, also yesterday, raised the alarm that some ex-Niger Delta militants had concluded arrangements to commence massive protests in Port Harcourt today, to pave the way for the declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers state.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers council, condemned Sunday’s militants’ attack on journalists, especially those from the Channels Television, who were in Bori for the live transmission of the SRM’s rally lost valuable items.Their vehicles, including the Outside Broadcasting (OB) van, were vandalised.
The Council of Orashi Ethnic Nationality in Rivers state also demanded an apology from Amaechi and the people of Ikwerre ethnic nationality, for recommending the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, to President Goodluck Jonathan as a minister. Amaechi and Wike are Ikwerre.
The NGF chairman’s ally, who is a top Rivers government official, but would not want to be named, also confirmed in an interview in Port Harcourt yesterday that the protesting ex-militants intended to lock down the Rivers state capital and besiege government offices, for President Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in the Niger Delta state and force Amaechi out.
The Rivers governor’s associate said Wike and his supporters, in collaboration with the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, were behind the plot to cause a breakdown of law and order with the use of the ex-militants, to be coordinated by some “ex-Generals” (former warlords).
It was also learnt that part of the plot was that immediately after the declaration of the state of emergency, a retired soldier from Rivers state would be made a military administrator and the Presidency would make it difficult for Amaechi to return as governor.
The appointment by President Jonathan, for the first time, of a Rivers indigene, Maj.-Gen. Kenneth Bipiduonyeofori Minimah, as the Chief of Army Staff, according to the source, was part of the plan by the Presidency and the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to take over Rivers state in 2015 at all costs.
The associate of the NGF chairman said: “The anti-Amaechi protests in Port Harcourt may escalate into fiery street battles, between the anti-Amaechi demonstrators and the teeming supporters of the Rivers Governor.”
The NUJ, Rivers council, yesterday in a communiqué issued at the end of its emergency State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, following incessant attacks on journalists in the state, and signed by the Chairman, Opaka Dokubo, and the Secretary, Stanley Job Stanley, described the ugly situations as unacceptable.
Rivers NUJ said: “Journalists are professionals carrying out their duties, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other International Charters, of which Nigeria is a signatory. Journalists are not interested parties in the political crisis, currently rocking Rivers State.
“We condemn the attack on journalists working for Channels Television on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at Bori, during the botched SRM rally. We recall similar attacks on journalists working for TV Continental (TVC), The Sun newspaper, Rivers State Television (RSTV), and Rhythm 93.7 FM, Port Harcourt, among others.
“We find this situation unacceptable and urge political parties, groups and their followers to engage in their activities and leave journalists alone to practise their chosen profession. We also condemn a situation where policemen and other security agents attack journalists or even standby and watch, while journalists are being attacked by hoodlums.
“We call on the police and other security agencies to ensure the safety of lives and property of all Nigerians in Rivers State, irrespective of their political affiliations. We also call on the police and other security agencies to ensure the protection of journalists operating in the state, in the discharge of their professional responsibilities.”
The NUJ, Rivers council, also warned that should the incessant attacks on journalists in Rivers state continue, it would take appropriate steps, including the withdrawal of the services of its members.
While demanding an apology from Amaechi for recommending Wike as a minister, the council of Orashi ethnic nationality, through its Director, Media and Publicity, Ndu Nwobosi, declared that the ex-Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt (Wike) was not only a cog in Rivers wheel of progress, but a selfish and mischievous person.
The Orashi group noted that the quest for power by Wike, the Director-General of Amaechi Campaign Organisation in 2011 and two-term Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers state, had turned him into a vessel for the destruction of the people and hijacking of their resources.
The council of Orashi ethnic nationality said: “We wish to advise the people of Ikwerre to request the removal of Wike as a minister, to save the Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality from further embarrassment. With the turn of events, Rivers people would have been comfortable without an Ikwerre minister.
“Against the warning of President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Amaechi insisted that Wike must be made a minister. The option left for the Rivers State Governor is to apologise to the Rivers people, for the trauma his action has caused.
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