Thousands Of Amaechi Supporters Welcome 8 APC Govs At Port-Harcourt Airport
Determined to curb a re-occurrence of last Tuesday’s attack on four Northern governors on a visit to Governor Rotimi Amaechi by hired protesters loyal Minister of state for education, Nyesom Wike, thousands of pro-Amaechi supporters today thronged the Port Harcourt International Airport, to welcome the eight progressive governors on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC who paid solidarity visit to Gov Amaechi in Government House.
Their visit is coming on the heels of a similar one by four Nothern governors including Alhaji Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso (Kano), Alhaji Mu’azu Babangida Aliu (Niger) and Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) who on Tuesday paid him a solidarity visit to Amaechi at the government House Port Harcourt.
The APC governors who came today include Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Raji Fashola (Lagos), Abiola Ajimobi(Oyo) Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeshola (Osun) and Ibukunle Amosun (Ogun). Others were the deputy governors of Nasarawa, Damesh Barua Luka; Imo, Prince Eze Madumere and Zamfara, Alhaji Mukhtar Anka, who represented their bosses respectively.
The placards-carrying protesters who initially assembled at the P/H international airport soon relocated to the Airforce base when they learnt that the visiting governors would be landing at the Airforce base terminal. While chanting pro-Amaechi slogans, they displayed placards with messages like: “You are welcome”, “Please, feel at home.”
Speaking with the media on behalf of others at the end of a closed door meeting with Amaechi, Governor Kayode Fayemi, said after a review of the situation on ground, they believe it is necessary for Amaechi to meet President Jonathan and brief him on the security situation in the State.
According to him, “We are here because security is more of a major concern to us and the people of Nigeria. You know our brothers are in the economic council meeting. Our being here is not a denigration of their meeting in any way, but just to stress the importance of our concern for the security of the citizens of Rivers State. We have met with our brother and Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and we had extensive discussion with him and that it will be quit important for him to actually go and brief Mr. President, who is our leader and the Chief security Officer of the Country, on the security challenges here in Rivers State.
“It is important that as Chief security Officer of Rivers State, he should brief Mr. President on the security situation in the State. In our deliberation with our brother, we also stressed the importance of the hierarchy of our Police authority and the Inspector General of Police, to help in restoring the confidence of the people of Rivers State that has really been greatly diminished in the Police Command here in River State. We believe that the Inspector General of Police is very well placed to help take necessary steps to restore the confidence of the Governor and the people in Rivers State and every steps that we think that should take.’
“We believe that, this is about the moral authority of Mr. President, about ensuring that peace reigns not just as it concerns Amaechi, but the entire country should also be of concern to him . We believe that Mr. President, being our leader , we are his men and feel that he actually occupies a very critical position that necessitates his wielding his moral authority in ensuring that peace reigns in Rivers State.’’
Flanked by his colleagues, Dr. Fayemi, according to a statement by Lagos governor, Fashola said, “We are here in support and solidarity with the Governor, the government and people of Rivers State in these challenging times. We are concerned, as fellow governors representing the various states that you see here, because the issue of security to us is of far more major concern to the people of Nigeria”.
Stressing the importance of the visit, Fayemi explained, “You may be aware that today is the National Economic Council meeting and we ought to be in Abuja attending the meeting. Our being here is not a denigration of that meeting but it is important to stress our concern for the security of the citizens of Rivers State”.
He said after an extensive meeting with the Governor, they felt it was important that he briefed the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, immediately on the security situation in the state pointing out that the President remained the Chief Security Officer of the whole country.
“We have been with our brother and Chairman of our Forum, Governor Amaechi; we have had extensive discussion here and he has briefed us on the situation on ground here and we do feel strongly, having listened to him, that it would be quite important for him to actually go and brief Mr. President who is our leader and chief security officer of the country on the very challenging security situation here”, Fayemi said.
He continued, “We believe that our chairman and brother will give serious consideration to that particular concern that we have all expressed to him, that it is important, as Chief Security Officer of Rivers State, he should take the opportunity to go and brief Mr. President on the security situation in this state”.
On the role of the Police in the situation in the State, Governor Fayemi said the governors agreed that it it would be necessary for the hierarchy of the Police authorities to take definite steps to restore the confidence of the people of Rivers State in the Police which, according to him, has greatly diminished.
“We also, in our deliberation with our brother, thought it would be important for the hierarchy of our Police authority, the Inspector General of Police, to help in restoring the confidence of the people of Rivers State that has been greatly diminished in the Police service and the command here in Rivers State”, the Governor said.
According to him, “We believe the Inspector General of Police is very well placed to help take the necessary steps to restore the confidence of the people and the Governor of Rivers State in the Police and every step he should take to make that possible should, we believe, be taken”.
“We do believe that this is a matter that truly requires the plural authority of Mr. President as well. It is about deepening democracy; it is about ensuring that peace reigns not just in Rivers, because he knows that Rivers is of concern to Governor Amaechi, but the security of the entire country is of concern to him”, the Governor said.
Stressing that the entire nation make up the constituency of the President, Governor Fayemi said the Governors came to the conclusion that the critical position of the President requires him to take appropriate steps to ensure the restoration of peace and security in Rivers State and the entire country.
“We are all President’s Governors and we feel that the he occupies a very critical position that necessitates his wielding moral authority in ensuring that peace reigns here and that nobody uses any form of subterfuge to create a situation that are entirely avoidable”, the Governor said.
Calling on all the parties concerned in the crisis to listen to the voice of reason and embrace peace, Governor Fayemi declared, “We believe that the tension in Rivers State is entirely avoidable and we want all parties to sheath their swords and help to restore the peace and security of our state here”.
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