Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, in a statement, said that their outcry to Nigerians and the international community is based on a report that the hotel where Wike is lodged is under siege by over 300 Policemen led by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Leye Oyebanji, who have “been very audible with threats that he (Wike) should leave Edo State.”
Nsirim said that Wike is in Benin on a legitimate business for his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the same as Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodinma, both on a similar assignment for their party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, but who “are moving about freely, without any siege on their locations or molestation, threats, harassments and intimidation.”
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari “to uphold the tenets of democracy by making good his pledge of ensuring a free, fair, credible and transparent election, devoid of intimidation in Edo State.”
Full text of the statement reads:
The attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to a worrisome report that the Hotel our Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is staying in Benin City is presently under siege by over 300 policemen.
What is more disturbing is that the policemen led by DIG Leye Oyebanji have also been very audible with threats that he should leave Edo State.
We want to place on record that the Rivers State Governor was appointed the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP National Campaign Council Chairman for the September 19th 2020 Edo State Governorship election.
This is a legitimate, constitutionally recognized appointment in the electoral rules, guidelines and processes of our country.
It confers on him, the democratic authority to be in Edo State to spearhead the campaign and lend support to the Governorship candidate of his political party.
Governor Wike has not committed any crime to warrant this intimidation and we want to state categorically that the siege on his hotel is totally unlawful, illegitimate and provocative.
This is even more so when placed against the backdrop of the fact that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, who equally occupies this same position in the All Progressives Congress, APC and indeed his counterpart, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, are all in Benin, Edo State, carrying out the same assignment for the APC.
They are moving about freely, without any siege on their locations or molestation, threats, harassments and intimidation.
We hereby put the Nigerian Government and International Community on notice that the life of Governor Wike is in danger and under serious threat.
Rivers People will hold the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu personally responsible if anything happens to the life of our Governor.
We also appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, to uphold the tenets of democracy by making good his pledge of ensuring a free, fair, credible and transparent election, devoid of intimidation in Edo State.
Nigeria is a democracy. Let us play by the rules.
Commissioner for Information and Communications
September 18, 2020