By Godwin Anene
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill, says the public outcry over the wave of insecurity in the state under Governor Nyesom Wike is backed by facts and not mere claims.
Princewill, who described the situation as the state heads into the 2019 general elections next month, also attributed the development to Wike’s inability to protect the people of the state as the Chief Security Officer.
The APC leader was reacting to Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lashing of embattled Rivers All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship flag bearer, Tonye Cole, for harping on the spate of killings and kidnapping under Wike in his ongoing campaigns.
Harping on the data from the November 2018 inventory of an independent Kidnap Monitoring Register, Princewill said the facts supports the worry of the APC governorship candidate much like the concern by majority defenseless Rivers people.
He said, “From the independent report which is a public document, out of the 44 cases of kidnapping in Nigeria last November alone, 29 cases were recorded in Rivers. That is a whopping 66% of all the recorded kidnappings in the entire country.
“One state! Wike and his spin doctors can continue to deny the obvious but the whole world knows that his administration has presided under increased insecurity and wanton disregard for human life.
“We are entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. This does not include killings, rapes, armed robberies and other violent crimes which paint an even bleaker picture.
“Instead of addressing the issues and seeking solutions, the Governor enjoys personal attacks and passing off responsibility. Cole is only saying that to address a problem, one must first accept that you have one.
“The approach by the government only confirms that they lack the ideas, temperament and the will to truly address the issue. Since we are no 1 on the misery index, no 1 in unemployment and also no 1 in insecurity, it explains why many businesses are leaving.
“This did not start today, so emergence if Cole should not be an excuse to shoot low. In recent weeks, though PDP have comfortably neglected to mention it, the entourage of Cole has been attacked and harassed endlessly, but he has not been deterred. Politics is too important to be left to politicians.”
Meanwhile, Rivers PDP Campaign Council has maintained that Cole remains an enemy of Rivers for de-marketing the state, destining his his comments that Rivers is unsafe as “mischievous, dishonest and spiteful.”
Emma Okah, Director of Information and Communications, Rivers PDP Campaign Council, asked, “If the state were unsafe, why is Cole moving to and from different parts, holding rallies, attending church programmes and pushing his campaigns without molestation?”
Okah who is also Rivers Commissioner for Information further said, “While the state government battled federal govetnment since 2015 to accord Rivers similar cooperation accorded other states in crime fighting, Cole saw nothing wrong in what the centre was doing to his state”
On the alleged job loss in the Rivers, Okah challenged Cole to hold the Federal Government and ruling APC resposible as Nigeria has lost 23.9 million jobs since 2015 as a result of the ineptitude of centre.
“Nigerians have never had it this bad since 1960 but we are proud that Gov Wike has shown huge strenght in leadership, development and infrastructure since 2015, making the Vice President to call him Mr Project.
“If all the Jetties, sports facilities, health centres, hospitals reconstructed, newly constructed educational institutions, roads, housing projects, sundry infrastructures, enhanced security facilities traversing all LGAs mean nothing to Cole, then Rivers people must shine their eyes well” Okah said.