The gubernatorial candidate for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2015 election in River state, Dakuku Peterside, on Sunday, called out the state governor, Nyesom Wike, for allegedly sponsoring and arming cultist in the state.
The oil producing state have in recent weeks experienced an upsurge in violence, militant attacks and armed robbery, with many losing their lives, properties or sustaining different degrees of injuries.
Peterside said this in a statement he issued, wherein he also alleged that Wike was responsible for the violence experienced in the state before and during the 2015 general elections.
The statement reads in part: “It is regrettable but true that in many communities in Rivers State today cult gangs hold sway. They control the social and economic souls of the people, including traditional structures which have been rendered impotent.”
“The cult gangs were armed by politicians in the build up to 2015 general elections. Like Frankenstein monsters, they are now too powerful to those who armed them and had enjoyed pyrrhic benefits from their activities.
“The situation has so degenerated that nobody, including those who created the monsters, feels safe anymore. The physical landscape of Rivers State communities is painted with boys armed to the teeth and walking about freely to the discomfort of citizens.”
Noting that the Wike administration was lukewarm in its handling of the escalating violence, Peterside further said that:
“We are yet to feel the effect of any concrete action taken by Nyesom Wike- led Rivers State Government to stem this worsening insecurity. A town hall meeting which he held in Omoku on the urging of Rt. Hon. Andrew Uchendu degenerated into a display of power by way of suspending three Local Government Caretaker Committee chairmen and a strange order to security agents to kill suspected cultists.”
“The aloofness of the state government has actively promoted the view in the public space that it is behind the prevailing insecurity and free reign of criminals in the state. Nothing challenges a government more than to lose the moral right to fight criminality. When a government persistently fails in its primary duty of securing lives and property, and does not show that it is committed to fighting against those who threaten our peace, the despair of the citizenry can best be imagined.
“Today the people of Rivers state are groaning under the unbearable weight of kidnapping, assassinations, armed robbery, political violence, gun running, harassment, and all forms of criminality. The general question is how long are we going to live like this?”
He added that: “There is an evil in Rivers State and I have chosen to speak against it. If anything happens to me, Nigerians, Rivers, Ogoni people and my family should hold Governor Nyesom Wike and his PDP people responsible because the threat against my life is too much.”