The Rivers state election was filled with so many anomalies and uncertainties. It is an open secret that there has been bad blood between Governor Wike and the Nigerian Army during the 2019 election. There has been different speculations of what could truly have gone wrong. The Nigerian Army have alleged that Wike had tried to bribe them during the election to make things go smoothly for him. Fresh finding have however been revealed by the Center for Conflict Investigation and Dialog, and we are left with the question that with the recent findings should the federal Govt not take it upon themselves to dig deeper and find out the truth. On Thursday 24th May 2019 The Center for Conflict Investigation and Dialog had indicted Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers State, of endeavoring to compromise the 2019 election
In a report, the group had boldly come forward to accuse Wike for absolute and unquenchable desperation for power, saying his hunger for power was made quite apparent during the last 2019 election.
They had said that Wike had purportedly sent foreign diplomats , arming them with huge amount of money,with the sole purpose of undermining the military and the triumphs recorded amid the whole exercise. Timi Johnson, official executive of the group had said while showing the report. that It was assembled that the governor couldn’t handle the dismissal of his suggestions and subsequently decided to go on a character defamation spree on the Major General.
The Center for Conflict Investigation and Dialog had carried a truth finding exercise, that was extremely neutral and void of any governmental interference. According to the verdict that was gotten from the research conducted between the Nigerian armed force and the Rivers state government amid the 2019 election. The discoveries had demonstrated that the governor had surreptitiously paid Jamil Sarham the leader of the 6th division of the Nigerian Armed Forces a visit, however the general had refused to be an accomplice in such an unholy and evil scheme.
They also revealed that they had accumulated by their group of analysts from sources in Rives state government house that after the election, the Governor promised to pay the Army Commander in his coin for having the effrontery not to work for his arrangement as the governor of the state.
The group had said that after finishing up the examination, that the governor had propelled a few crusades of defamation against the military administrator. Sources had revealed that a huge amount of money had been set aside mainly for the project.
They had also gone ahead to reveal that some portion of the ploy had been that the governor would concede media briefings both in print and radio to keep on disparaging the Army officer before the eyes of clueless individuals from the general population.
They also revealed that after a cautious investigation of event that had birthed the squabbles in the election in Rivers state, they could boldly report the bedrock of the
disagreement between the Nigerian Army and the Rivers state government stems from the unwavering decision of the Nigerian Army to be nonpartisan and reasonable for all amid the election in accordance with the command given to it by the Army chain of hierarchy.
Also exposing that the Rivers State government endeavored to pitch the populace against the Nigerian Army by propounding that the Nigerian Army was doing the bidding of a previous governor which they implied had been solely against the interest of the state.
Showing, without mincing any words that they had made the activities of the Nigerian Army in Rivers state amid the election a very troublesome one. The group had then along these lines profoundly suggested that the Nigerian Human Rights Commission ought to examine the state-supported savagery amid the election in River state and those that are found blameworthy are brought to book and compensation paid to groups of those that lost their lives. Also adding that the invasion of arms in Rivers state is likewise disturbing, and it is thusly prompted that the police be commanded to make a move towards cleaning up these arms from the possession of the political hooligans in the state.
On the 26th of February 2019 Sahara Reporters had reported that the army had revealed that Governor Wike had bribed some soldiers to compromise the 2019 elections.
“While we do not intend to join issues with any one, however, it has become expedient to bring to the notice of the general public the actual reasons behind Governor Wike’s attrition against the Nigerian Army and its leadership with the hope that he will finally sheath his sword and publicly apologies to the Nigerian Army as we present to you the following shocking discoveries.”
The text from the press conference held by Colonel Aminu Iliyasu of 6 Division can be seen below
TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE
The period leading to the 23 February 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections witnessed a lot of political activities and manoeuvres by political actors, which is normal in a democracy. However, most worrisome and dangerous is the employment of political thugs by some desperate politicians to disrupt a legitimate national process for their pecuniary gains.
Equally of grave concern is the daring attempt by the Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, to compromise security agencies, particularly troops of 6 Division Nigerian Army, with hefty financial inducements to help him in his illegitimate act of thwarting a free and fair electoral process in his favour, while accusing the Nigerian Army and its command hierarchy of bias daily.
Apparently, Governor Wike must have underestimated the Nigerian Army’s commitment to being professionally responsive in the discharge of our constitutional roles.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has over time reiterated and demonstrated the Nigerian Army’s resolve to being apolitical, neutral and unbiased. He has also left no one in doubt of our total and absolute loyalty to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, no amount of cheap blackmail and unsubstantiated allegations will make us bulge.
While we do not intend to join issues with any one, however, it has become expedient to bring to the notice of the general public the actual reasons behind Governor Wike’s attrition against the Nigerian Army and its leadership with the hope that he will finally sheath his sword and publicly apologise to the Nigerian Army as we present to you the following shocking discoveries.
Gentlemen of the press, you recall that on Saturday, 15th February, 2019, the eve of the now rescheduled presidential and NASS elections, one Barrister Emma Okah issued a statement alleging that a very senior officer of this command attempted to tamper with INEC sensitive materials at the CBN Port Harcourt premises. A rejoinder was immediately issued by HQ 6 Division, which not only rebutted the allegation, but also demanded an apology from Emma Okah within 72 hours or face legal action. As at this moment, Emma Okah has arrogantly refused to heed the advice.
“Ironically, on Saturday 23rd February 2019 at about 8:45am, following a tip-off on attempt by Governor Wike’s aides to induce and compromise troops deployed at the CBN Port Harcourt premises, one personnel Major A.P. Ubah and three other Police personnel, DSP Oyoku Ifelle (Camp Commandant Rivers State Govt House), Sergeant Akanu Garba , Inspector Hycent Oboi and Sergeant Nketan Chucks, were arrested by a team from HQ 6 Div.
Preliminary investigations discovered the sum of N2.25million only in a Range Rover belonging to the DSP. Other items recovered are four INEC 2019 electoral tags, customised Rivers State Government House brown envelopes, while the sum of N500,000 only, was found in the Toyota vehicle belonging to Major A.P. Ubah, which he confessed was given to him by the Governor’s aides in addition to the offer of a well-furnished accommodation for the period of his tour of duty.
Similarly, same day Saturday, 23rd February, 2019, at about 7am, a member of Rivers State House of Assembly, Honourable Opokri Wanaka, in company of Dr Reason Onya Williams, Rivers State Commissioner for Urban Development, visited own troops camp at Akinima and requested to be acquainted with the Commander of the troops at the location. Honourable Opokri offered the officer some amount of money he removed from his pocket, but the officer not only rejected the offer, but sent the duo away.
Incidentally, while the officer and his men were manning a check-point at Mbiama Bridge, a white Hilux vehicle with Rivers State Government Reg No. L02-03 RV RIVERS and eight occupants, was stopped for routine search and clearance. A carton and two bundles of INEC 2019 presidential election ballot papers were discovered in the vehicle. Preliminary investigation reveals that none of the occupants of the vehicle is an INEC staff, INEC Ad-hoc staff or security agent.
During the course of on-the-spot interrogations, Honourable Opokri Wanaka and Dr Reason Onya Williams, earlier mentioned above, appeared at the spot and tried to convince the suspecting troops that the vehicle is part of the INEC convoy that was left behind and that the vehicle should be allowed to go because the electorate are waiting. When the vigilant officer refused to be convinced, Dr Reason immediately placed a call to Governor Wike and His Excellency requested to speak with the officer, who declined and requested the Governor to please call the GOC. After much resistance, the officer gave Dr Reason his number to pass to Governor Wike, which he did via Whatsapp message. Within 10 minutes, Governor Wike placed a call to the officer.
The question remains that is Wike guilty of what he has been accused? Does a sitting governor have that much power to threaten the Nigerian army? If this is true, what are we are to expect from Wike in the next four years? should he still sworn in with such heavy allegations made against him?