By Peters Monday, Abuja
A group under the auspices of Ijaw Youth Leaders of Thought, IYLT, has cautioned the purported Rivers State Elders Forum for the Biased Position Taken Against H.E Siminalayi Fubara, the Governor of Rivers State and Ijaw Nation.
This is according to a statement by the group’s chairman, Comrade Jackson Agbor and Comrade Moses Omare, Secretary-General on Saturday.
The group averred that the Rivers State Elders Forum had compromised and had taken sides with Barr. Nyesom Wike, the FCT Minister, over the current political crisis rocking the state, adding that the purported elders intention was to cause more crisis by applauding the ill-fated and widely condemned and rejected move by Barr. Nyesom Wike to impeach the governor by using some gullible and selfish members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The statement reads, “It is glaring that the self-styled group, the Rivers State Elders Forum, is compromised and has taken sides with Barr. Nyesom Wike, the FCT Minister, over the current political crisis rocking the state. It is wrong of them to come to the public with the intention to cause more crisis by applauding the ill-fated and widely condemned and rejected move by Barr. Nyesom Wike to impeach the governor by using some gullible and selfish members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“It is appalling that the so-called Rivers State Elders Forum, led by Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, decided to ruin their honour and reputation by brazenly claiming that it was false that the cruel and unprofessional action of the security agents by firing teargas and pouring water on the governor during his inspection visit to the House of Assembly Complex over the fire incident was instigated by Barr. Nyesom Wike. We are highly disappointed in the Elders Forum, and we condemn their ungodly and blackmail-intended claim that the Ijaw Nation’s support for Sir Siminalayi Fubara is ethnically coloured.
“As elders, their position should be a condemnation of the aborted plot of Barr. Nyesom Wike and not to state anything more or less. The plan of Barr. Nyesom Wike was to cause unrest in Rivers State and use the opportunity to sneak in through the back door another man of Ikwere extraction as Governor of the state. This is the danger the elders ought to have seen and confronted instead of grovelling and genuflecting to Barr. Nyesom Wike before the glare of the entire world by shamelessly singing his praises.
“They failed woefully for not making it clear to Barr. Nyesom Wike, as expected by the world, that Rivers State is not his private company where he is at liberty to hire and fire at will. They also failed for not publicly condemning the attempt of those disgruntled members of the House of Assembly to impeach the Governor who has not committed any constitutional infraction. They also failed the expectation of the public by not calling on all parties to cease fire and come to a dialogue to resolve the impasse.
“We strongly advice this self-appointed Rivers State Elders Forum to tread carefully and be mindful of their choice of words when referring to Gov. Siminalayi Fubara and the Ijaw Nation. The Ijaw nation is not at war with any neighbour and, therefore, should not be projected as clamouring for ethnic conflict in Rivers State. It is their right to protect their son if any oppressor is seen coming like a lion after him to devour him. It is a simple parental obligation the Elders Forum failed to execute. Barr. Nyesom Wike has also benefited from this Ijaw protection in the past.
“We state categorically that Barr. Nyesom Wike has enjoyed the support of the Ijaw people in all his political outings, especially in his elections for the state’s governorship. The Elders Forum should remember the storm that confronted the Ijaw nation when an Ijaw daughter, Dame Patience Jonathan, against the interest of then governor of the state, H.E Rotimi Amaechi, and the ambition of an Ijaw son, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, singlehandedly facilitated his becoming the governor of Rivers State. The Ijaw people neither distracted him nor conspired against him but, in all eight years, cooperated and allowed him to complete his tenure, not minding the occasional infringements on their rights.
“The governor is a peace-loving gentleman and has remained loyal and committed to serving the Rivers people even in the face of provocation and high-handedness from his predecessor. He does not deserve distractions and, therefore, should be allowed to exercise the mandate given to him by the good people of Rivers State.
“We shall not hesitate to resist any form of intimidation from Barr. Nyesom Wike and his cohorts and may be tempted to close down the streets of Port-Harcourt should the need arises. We therefore call on all well-meaning Nigerians to rise and condemn these self-seeking elders who have been hired to throw the Niger Delta into political turmoil”, the group stated.