From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has advised that rather than call for secession, Nigerians should strive for restructuring of the country in order to foster much desired unity.
The Governor stated this when the Primate of the All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Chukwuka Ndukuba led a delegation of the Church on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt at the weekend.
Governor Wike explained that the people of Rivers State have for decades lived peacefully with Nigerians from other part of the country. But, regretted that criminals indisguised of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), have misconstrued the peaceful disposition of the State to carry out treasonous activities like foisting their flags and remaining Rivers communities.
He stated that Rivers State was peaceful during the EndSARS protest, until IPOB members unleashed unprovoked attacks that killed six soldiers, four policemen, and destruction of all police stations and Court buildings in Oyigbo.
The Governor reiterated that the allegation that he ordered soldiers to attack Igbo people living in Oyigbo, was untrue and politically motivated. According to him, if he had not imposed curfew based on security advise, there would have been bloody confrontation between Hausa and Igbo communities.
He urged those with divisive tendency to join those clamouring for a restructuring of the country in order to usher a new birth and united Nigeria.
“We need the unity of this country. What everybody is talking about is the restructuring of this country. If we are practising federalism, let it be federalism. We can’t be talking about federalism, but we are practising unitary system of government.”
The Governor implored the Church to continue to pray for Nigeria because the country was apparently sitting on a keg of gun powder.
“This is the time for the church not to be docile, this is the time for the church to speak out. When society is bad, it affects the church. When governance is bad, it affects the church. No matter how we look at it. Nobody can run away from it, things are not working well in the country. The way the country is supposed to be is not where we are. Even when you are in the pulpit, it is an opportunity to speak to your members that things are not well”, he said.
Governor Wike said as a Christian, he has no apology for handing over the State to God.
He used the occasion to announce a donation of N500 million on behalf of the Rivers State government to support the Anglican Church education development and mission fund.
The Governor further urged Most Rev. Ndukuba to advise the church to obey the COVID-19 protocols. According to him, security report at his disposal indicates, churches do not adhere to COVID-19 protocol.
Meanwhile, the Primate of the All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Chukwuka Ndukuba, said in a time of uncertainty in the country, the church was very proud of the steps and stance Governor Wike has taken on critical issues.
“We come not only to encourage you as the Lord encouraged Joshua, we believe as the Lord was with Joshua, He will be with you; He will strengthen you, and under your leadership, this state will know greatest, development and peace. The Lord God Almighty who called you and gave you this opportunity, will not leave you nor forsake you. Only be strong and courageous. We are proud of you.”