Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has warned that his administration will not tolerate a repeat of the protest embarked upon by the members of any self-determination group within the state.
The governor’s warning came on the heels of a massive protest the members of a self-determination group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, whose protest paralysed socio-economic activities in Port Harcourt, on Tuedsay.
Members and supporters of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra and those of IPOB took to the streets of Port Harcourt, demanding the secession of the Igbo from Nigeria and the unconditional release of one of their members, Mr. Nnamdi Kalu.
The protesters had marched through Ikoku, Ikwerre and some major roads in the state capital.
But Wike, who spoke through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, said he was peeved by the protest.
The governor stressed the indivisibility of Nigeria and added that the actions of the protesters were capable of stimulating chaos in the state.
“The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has warned against insidious actions by anybody or group in the state.
“The governor, who was peeved by the protest by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra in Port Harcourt, warned that such a demonstration will not be brooked by his administration.
“Emphasising the indivisibility of Nigeria, the governor said the actions of IPOB members are capable of stimulating chaos in the state,” the statement read.
Wike warned that as the Chief Security Officer of the state who swore to an oath to protect lives and property, he would not tolerate actions that would lead to the breakdown of law and order in the state.
He, however, dissociated himself and the state from the protest, adding that legal machinery has been set in motion against any group that tries to breach the peace in the state.
The governor called on residents in the state to go about their lawful duties without fear, assuring them of safety.
Also, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has dissociated his government from the reported violent protests in Rivers, Anambra, and Delta states by MASSOB and IPOB members, on Tuesday.
In a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha regretted the ugly development, saying that such violent protests in the name of Biafra would not add any value to the development of the South-East.
Okorocha said, “The governors and leaders of the South-East condemn the protests, especially when they were carried out in the name of Biafra. If a section of the people in the South-East or even the whole people in the geopolitical zone protest over the bad shape of the federal roads in the area or protest over the total negligence of the geopolitical zone, every governor and leader in the area would support that but not to protest over an issue that is neither here nor there.”
“The South-East is an integral part of Nigeria and the governors and leaders from the area believe in the unity of the country and would always work towards sustaining the unity. And as far as the governors and the leaders of the South-East are concerned, those behind the campaign for Biafra have their ulterior motive, which has nothing to do with corporate interest of the Ndigbo in Nigeria.”
Okorocha, however, called on those behind the protests to give peace a chance.
Meanwhile, a Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt on Wednesday remanded in prison custody 20 suspected supporters of the MASSOB and IPOB.
The suspects were arrested by the police during their demonstration on Tuesday for the release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, even as they demanded the secession of the Igbo from Nigeria.
The suspects were charged with chanting of hate songs, treason and the destruction of Nigeria flags that were hoisted a new generation bank.
They were identified as Benson Sunday, Emmanuel Ali, Ukeme Monday, Chibuzor Eechina, Charles Eze, Egbo Okechukwu, Chibona Ifion, John Douglas, Ezenwa Alphonus, Wori Endurance, Chinomere Nwolu, Henry Eze, Friday Uzunwa, Igbodo Abio, Akaniyene Uwem, Eni Iboro, Obinna Stephen, Monday Ocha, Obinna Ibekwe and Kingsley Ezengorie.
The Chief Magistrate, S.D. Andrew-Jaja, had on Wednesday, told the counsel for the suspects that he was not convinced that magistrate court could grant bail on charges of treason.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr. S.D Andrew-Jaja, in remanding the suspects in prison custody, directed their counsel to prepare to address the court on the suspects’ bail application during the court’s next sitting.
He adjourned the matter till October 27, 2015.