April 13, 2024

N/Delta leaders pay solidarity visit to Wike, urge resolution of Rivers crisis

N/Delta leaders pay solidarity visit to Wike, urge resolution of Rivers crisis

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

Leaders of Niger Delta ethnic nationalities have paid a solidarity visit to Nyesom Wike, Minister of Federal Capital Territory in reaction to current political developments following Wike’s appointment as minister.

A statement issued by Dr Kingsley Kuku who led the delegation noted that the visit was to convey appreciation to President Bola Tinubu and congratulate Wike on his appointment.

Kuku noted that the leaders drawn from various ethnic groups paid the visit to show their support to Wike following recent comments by Sheik Gumi and advocate a resolution of the political turmoil in Rivers.

“Hon. Minister, a pertinent area that invites our attention and solidarity with you concerns your recent verbal encounter with Sheikh Ahmed Gumi. Although many people have reacted in various ways to this statement, we feel duty-bound to also lend our voices.

“To say the least, Gummi’s arrogation of exclusive ownership and monopoly of administration of Abuja by a given ethno-religious region in Nigeria is not only disgusting, senseless but also puerile, hubristic, irresponsible and divisive.

“It clearly goes against the grain of Abuja as the melting pot of Nigeria and therefore highly condemnable. We are glad for the avalanche of criticism against his unguarded statement from every nook and cranny and the denial of his mean and myopic position even by the Northern Elders Forum (N.E.F),” Kuku stated.

According to the group, Wike is not a political orphan from the Niger Delta as he has a very strong socio-political base.

“So, we take very serious exception to the call for the Minister’s sack and to the blackmail on the President with denial of electoral/political support in faraway 2027 should the President fail to do his unholy bidding.

“We wonder where Gumi has got the right and audacity to threaten the President. We also wonder what electoral value Gumi carries in Nigerian Politics,” the statement read in part.

The Niger Delta leaders urged Wike to ignore these diversionary distractions and remain focused on his assignment as Minister.

“Gumis’ utterances smack of one fishing in troubled waters whose singular desire/object in life is for the waters to continue to be troubled for him to fish. These waters need peace and stability. Therefore, we urge you to continue with your developmental plans.

“The minister is assured of our total support as long as you are on the right track in the performance of your official duties. We would, however, urge you to be very circumspect in your official engagements. Continue to be focused, ignore distraction and make Nigeria proud,” the group stated.

On current political developments in Rivers, the leaders noted that Rivers is strategic to the South-South region and cannot afford to be in crisis.

“As Lagos State is very dear to the South West, so is Rivers State to the Niger Delta and as an injury to one is an injury to all, we feel justified to condemn the macabre dance playing out there.

“We join PANDEF, INC, IYC, MOSIEND, MOSOP, Ogbakor Ikwerre and all other responsible bodies in the Niger Delta in condemning the mischievous attempts at the State House of Assembly to impeach the State Governor on frivolous grounds of ‘gross misconduct’.

“It is quite unacceptable to us and to the entire Niger Delta. Any person, authority or group of persons involved in stoking this fire is strongly advised to desist from it and allow peace to reign,” Kuku stated.

The leaders noted that as a political leader of Rivers State, Wike wields the influence to broker peace as both the executive and legislators consist of his political proteges.

“They will listen to you when you talk to them. All eyes are on you. Be the peacemaker that you are and do all you can to quench this fire before it becomes devastating.

“The consequences will do no one any good. It will not also speak well of us as River’s people in particular and Niger Deltans in general.

Your silence in this matter will not be golden and the world will think you’re playing the ostrich.

“We plead with you to step into a peaceful resolution of this matter so that the Nigerian populace will not say that Pompey was drinking tea when Rome was burning,” the group stated.

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