Farah Dagogo: Wike gives order to security agencies to deal with anyone planning protest in Rivers
The Rivers State Government has said it has uncovered a plot by some persons and groups to unleash mayhem in the state.
According to the state government, the threats are coming on the heels of the arrest of some cultists involved in the unlawful disruption of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) screening exercise of aspirants vying for state and federal legislative seats in the 2023 general election.
Rivers government, in a statement by Mr Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant on Media to Governor Nyesom Wike, said it would like to state unequivocally, that it respects the inalienable rights of citizens and residents of the state to engage in the peaceful and lawful expression of issues of interest to them.
He stated: ‘However, the Rivers State Government will not tolerate protest activities, under whatever guise, that is intended to cause public disorder, infringement on the rights of other citizens and putting the protection of life and the safeguard of property at risk.
‘While political actors have a right to express their discontent through various lawful channels, engaging in any form of violent protests, particularly usage of cultists to undermine the rule of law will never be condoned by the state government.
‘To this end, the Rivers State Government hereby issues a stern warning to conflict entrepreneurs
and ethnic chauvinists fanning the embers of discord that they will face dire consequences should they attempt to disrupt the prevailing peace in the state.
‘As a government that respects and upholds the tenets of the rule of law, we will ensure that all those who choose lawlessness and seek to destroy the country’s democracy, will face the force of the law.
‘We also will like to warn conflict entrepreneurs, particularly in the opposition, that nothing good will be achieved in instigating mayhem in the state. We wish to warn that the era of using thugs to influence the outcome of elections is over. Rivers voters will assess every political party based on their performance.
‘The Rivers State Government has, hereby, directed the law enforcement authorities to take appropriate and condign action against anyone or group threatening the peace and stability of the state.’
The state government charged law enforcement authorities to bring to justice any person or group responsible for incitement to commit acts of violence and other forms of criminal conduct in the state.