As the crisis in Rivers State lingers, governors of Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Nasarawa, Imo and Zamfara states, yesterday, in a show of support, visited their counterpart in Rivers who is at the center of the crisis.
The governors in plain terms, condemned the current crisis in the state and called for President Goodluck Jonathan’s intervention. They also urged all actors in the crisis to sheathe their swords.
The governors who visited the Rivers State governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at the Government House, Port Harcourt, are Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun). The Governors of Imo, Nasarawa and Zamfara states were represented by their deputies.
Speaking on behalf of other governors, Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Fayemi, said: “We are here in solidarity with the governor, the government and people of Rivers State in this very challenging time. We are concerned as fellow governors representing our governments and people of our states. You may not know the deputies who are here.
“Nasarawa, Imo and Zamfara governors are represented by their deputies here. I take it that you know the rest of us governors who are here in the delegation. You are also aware that some of our colleagues were here a couple of days ago.
“We are here because we think security for us is far more of a major concern to the people of Nigeria. You may be aware that today is National Economic Council meeting; all of us ought to be in Abuja attending the meeting. Our being here is not a denigration of that meeting in anyway, 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 our forum, Governor Amaechi. We had exhaustive discussions.
“He has briefed us on the situation on ground here. 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 the Chief Security officer of the country on the very challenging security situation here in Rivers State. We believe that our chairman and brother will give serious consideration to that particular concern. We have expressed to him that it is important as Chief Security Officer of the state to take the opportunity to go and brief Mr President on the security situation,” Fayemi said.
The governors further enjoined the Inspector General of Police to take steps to restore confidence of the government and people of Rivers State in the Police command in the state.
“We also in our decision with our brother thought it will 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 have greatly been diminished in the Police service and the Command here in the state. We believe that the IG is very well placed to help take the necessary step to restore the confidence of the government, the governor and the people in the police in the state”.
While reaffirming their loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan, the governors urged the President to wield his moral authority in ensuring that enduring peace returns to Rivers State.
“We believe that the remarks really require the moral authority of Mr President and Governor Amaechi. The state of security in the entire country is also of concern to him. We believe that Mr President, being our leader, we are all Presidents men, we are all Presidents governors;.we believe that he actually occupies a very critical position that necessitates his wielding his moral authority ensuring that peace reigns here.”
Also speaking, the deputy governor of Zamfara State, Muktar Anka, confirmed that it was resolved at the meeting they had with Governor Amaechi that he should meet with President Jonathan on how to end the crisis in the state, adding that the crisis was avoidable.
He further described governor Amaechi as one accepted by his people.
“We being progressive governors, we met with our Chairman of Governors’ Forum, the Rivers State Governor. We were very happy that we met him in high spirit. It shows that he is so popular. We are very happy with that. We resolved and we advised him that he should meet with the President to discuss with him so that we can find way out of this crisis which is avoidable and we believe that by his meeting with the President actually we will find a way of resolving the crisis in Rivers State. That is all I can say after what my brother and boss, Ekiti State Governor has said.”
The visit of the governors and deputy governors would be the second solidarity visit this week by state governors to their Rivers State counterpart. Amaechi was earlier visited by Jigawa, Kano, Adamawa and Niger State governors.