Our attention has been drawn to a Statement issued by the Rivers State Government accusing the Rivers APC of planning to hijack street protests.
As a responsible political party, we have kept our distance from events that are playing out on the streets. The reason is that we have respect for the exemplary conduct that Nigerians are exhibiting at this time.
Accordingly, we are shocked by the unbridled allegation, suggesting APC involvement in the ongoing protests, peddled by the propaganda machine of the Rivers State Government.
At no time has the APC planned in any way to manipulate the protests on the Street. We are rather proud of the courage and understanding displayed by the Buhari administration in its handling of protests across the country at a time of global economic recession, which is equally taking a toll on our dear country.
This proves beyond reasonable doubt that the Federal Government ably led by President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed committed to deepening democracy in Nigeria. More especially, the Government has didplayed flexibility, maturity, understanding and love for the Nigerian people since the protests began.
We believe the people have an inalienable right to embark on protests. The Nigerian Constitution allows that right; the right to free expression in particular; and the right to association.
We note that the claim made by the Wike administration about the APC’s involvement in the street protests is completely unfounded, baseless and misleading. There is no iota of truth in the empty claim that is being fabricated by the Rivers State Government.
In the circumstances, we urge Rivers people to ignore the tantrums of the State Government. In saying so, we urge them to be vigilant. The reason is that this administration, which is fixated when it comes to the person of the Minister of Transportation, is known to be adept in diverting public attention each time it comes up with a plan to do something sinister.
The State Government is aware of the fact that the APC led government at the centre has come to terms with the demands of Nigerian youths. The question to ask is, why are the street protests continuing?
The answer lies in the skilful manipulation of events by the PDP even when national security interests could be endangered. The PDP may be playing the ostrich, but attempts by its leaders to use the protest on the street as a tool of national destabilisation is well known.
The lives of Nigerians matter to us as a political party. We fervently appeal to our youths not to be misled by anyone. The children of those stoking the fire on the streets are safe in foreign countries. Why are their children not leading the protests on the streets?
Why is there a deliberate effort to instigate restiveness on the streets? Why is it necessary to drag politics into the arena of protest?
We have reason to believe that the Government statement was intended to
create dangerous drama on the streets; and politicize the entire thing. There can be no other reason why Government attempted to inflame the situation on the street when seen against the backdrop of the timing of its statement.
In pursuit of narrow, parochial interests, they want to sacrifice the blood of innocent and defenseless youths to deities with whom they share uncommon communion and covenants.
While Governor Wike has become desperate, following what is transpiring in his party, the PDP, we encourage Rivers people to stay off the streets in order to frustrate the evil plan that has been put in place by political vampires that are now on the prowl.
The days of the Wike administration are numbered and members of his own party who are taking to the courts; who verily want to protest against a State Government that has turned its back on the people; will not rest until their voices are heard. This is what Governor Wike is afraid of. By the grace of God, the evil plan to spill the blood of the innocent will fail.
Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke,