*HURIWA asked Heads of Security Services to caution their operatives against being used:
Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has carpeted the Rivers State’s governor Mr. Nyesom Wike for allegedly launching massive crackdowns on his opponents even within his political party just as the Rights group has urged the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, the Director General of the State security Services or DSS Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi to instruct their operatives not to be used by the Rivers State’s governor to embark on tyrannical attacks against political rival.
HURIWA said the Rivers state’s governor who is over a decade as a lawyer called to the Nigerian Bar even though he has done more of partisan politics than legal practice ought to be abreast of the indubitably binding and authoritative fact that constitutional democracy embodies several constitutional and democratic rights that are fundamental human rights enshrined in chapter 4 of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended including the rights to civil and political freedoms, freedom of association, peaceful assembly and respect for the dignity of the human persons all of which are protected both locally and globally by binding precepts, Laws and covenants entered into by Nigeria as a member of the United Nations.
The Rights group said too that as a politician of many years of experience, married fortunately to a Judge of the temple of Justice in one of finest State’s high Courts, the Rivers state’s governor is not supposed to be linked to tyranny, dictatorship or lunching attacks against political rivals using and misusing the instruments of his temporary and transient authority as the governor of Rivers State for specific tenures and not ad-infinitum.
HUIRIWA recalled that governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was said to have ordered arrest of another House of Representatives member and Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faithful.
The governor, during Saturday’s flag-off of a state project to construct internal roads in Omagwa, Ikwerre Local Government Area, ordered police arrest of the owner of a fuel retail outlet in Ojoto Street, Diobu, Port Harcourt, referring to the Mega Tools Filling Station belonging to Hon Chinyere Igwe, member representing Port Harcourt Federal Constituency II.
According to media report, security operatives under Rivers Police Command, apparently acting on Wike’s orders, had, the day before, invaded, sealed and occupied the fuel station, citing alleged trading on illegally refined petroleum products, an allegation the lawmaker denied, accusing the governor of political victimisation.
The invading police troops of the Operation Sting tactical unit had, along with ceiling Mega Tools Filling Station, also occupied Priscy’s Lounge, Elekahia, a relaxation spot belonging to Jones Ogbonda, former Rivers Assembly member, same was they took over Preray Hotel, Eagle Island, owned by Ikechi Chinda, former PDP Chairman, Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, arresting some staff and guests in the process.
Like the fate of the serving Reps Igwe, member Representing Bonny/Degema Federal Constituency, Farah Gagogo, another Wike opponent had, in April at the PDP South-South Regional office screening of the region’s 2023 governorship aspirants in Port Harcourt, been arrested, charged to court and detained in prison for weeks, losing his bid to contest for Rivers PDP 2023 guber ticket. HURIWA said this is dictatorship taken too far and wonders why the armed forces of Nigeria are now being used and misused as attack dogs of Chief executive of some states.
HURIWA recalled that citing illegal petroleum deals for the move to arrest Igwe, Wike said, “If I hear of any filling station involved in oil bunkering, I will close that filling station. Therefore, I have directed security agencies to identify who has that filling station in Diobu, arrest that person and we are going to prosecute the person. It doesn’t matter how highly placed that person is.
“Some of you should be used to teach a lesson. We cannot allow oil bunkering. We will reduce it to the barest minimum. So, I have ordered the security agencies to identify who owns that filling station that was sealed up two days ago and arrest the owner. Let him tell us why he is involved in oil bunkering.”
HURIWA however reminded the Rivers state’s governor that he wouldn’t be in office forever and so he should play politics by the rules of constitutional democracy and rule of law.
“His Excellency governor Nyesom Wike should realise that many governors have come and gone because political power is transient. Today he in charge, tomorrow he won’t be there. So let all politicians campaign peacefully because Rivers State does not belong to the governor but to the entirety of the people and the governor is not an emperor but a servant of the people who exercises authority because the people gave the office holder the legitimacy to exercise that authority lawfully for only but a short-time and section 15(5) of the Constitution frown against abuse of power and political dictatorship.”