More like a proverbial cat with nine lives, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, is said to have escaped five assassination attempts in the space of eleven months.
The Rivers State Government made this startling revelation in Port Harcourt yesterday.
The Rivers State commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr Austin Tam-George, who made this revelation, described the action as “callous and insensitive”.
Tam-George said: “It is no secret that the APC government declared war on the government and people of Rivers State soon after the party lost the governorship litigation at the Supreme Court in 2016”.
The commissioner said the first attempt to kill the governor was made immediately after the Supreme Court verdict.
Dr Tam-George said the governor’s Chief Security Officer was removed abruptly without any explanation and that the six police officers dismissed by the Police in January this year played a key role in foiling the series of attempts to kill Wike.
The commissioner further disclosed that after several attempts to assassinate Wike had failed, an offer of N150 million was made to two of the six dismissed police officers to directly kill the governor but the officers declined the offer.
“We call on the Interpol and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to lead an independent inquiry into why those gallant and patriotic officers were dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force on spurious charges of misconduct”, Dr Tam- George said.
The commissioner said that as part of its preparations to seize Rivers State in the 2019 elections, the central APC government was already considering a range of escalatory measures against Wike and some key leaders in Rivers State.
It will be recalled that just last week, Governor Wike alleged that the APC Federal Government planted media reports of insecurity against the state because of their plot to tarnish the state’s image for political reasons.
The governor also said that the APC Government has over the last two years denied the people their basic rights, while deliberately destroying the judiciary in their quest to intimidate political opponents.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has, however, denied any involvement in any plots to kill Gov Wike. In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the IGP dismissed reports suggesting that the Nigerian Police Force was involved in any plot to kill Wike.
Gov. Wike himself has also challenged the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to be alive to its duties and responsibilities.
Speaking when the Governing Council of the African Bar Association paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike regretted that the NBA failed the people at the most important time – as the association refused to protect judges who were illegally harassed.
The governor charged the African Bar Association to take up the role of advocacy on behalf of the Nigerian people, the way it intervened in The Gambia and Burundi.
“The NBA has sold out at the time the people needed it to stand with them; they withdrew.
“We have given the EFCC and the Federal Government the opportunity to intimidate the judiciary with frivolous petitions and prosecution”.
Governor Wike called on Nigerians to speak out before the APC destroys the judiciary. He said that the ultimate aim of the APC was to create the atmosphere for them to rig the 2019 general elections.
When contacted to confirm the allegation, the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Nnamdi Omole, demanded to see a written press statement to the effect that Governor Wike’s life has been threatened. He said: “Please can you send the statement to me so that I can respond to it?”