The All Progressives Congress has described the comment credited to the Governor of Rivers State which purportedly referred to an ethnic nation as “land grabbers” as very unfortunate.
The party said in a statement in Port Harcourt that it had studied the prompt reply by the Chiefs and people of Okrika and the subsequent denial issued by the State Government.
“We have reviewed the comments made by the Governor and the sharp reaction that came from the Chiefs of Okrika.
“Were it not that many in the State heard the Governor and understood what he said in the sense that the Chiefs and people of Okrika did, we would have thought that His Excellency was misquoted.
“While our intention is not to escalate the issue, we believe that the time has indeed come for the Governor to weigh his comments before expressing them in public.
“We equally consider it unfortunate that the Governor could have alluded to land grabbing while flagging off a project, knowing how such a comment could hurt the integrity of an ethnic nation in whose territory he was.
“We urge the Governor as a responsible party to go slow. We are worried that he is reducing the status of the exalted office of a State Governor which is the symbol of our democracy.
‘Similarly, we are concerned that the State Chief Executive is wrongly creating the impression that as the number one citizen, he has inherited the authority to say just about anything in view of the power of immunity that he enjoys.
“The APC apologises to the people of Okrika and the people of other ethnic nations in the State for the contemptuous insults that they are enduring.
“In so doing, we urge Rivers people through their esteemed leaders and representatives to caution the leader of the Rivers PDP before his comments set our State ablaze.”
“His remarks in the public place are increasingly becoming inflamatory and totally unacceptable”, the APC observed.
‘The statement further explained. “The Governor ought to be building bridges of cooperation which should unite the people instead of fanning the amber of division, distrust and hate.
“We believe that the Governor his promoting disunity, discord and disharmony among the people by resorting to the kind of speeches that are credited to him where ever he sets foot.”
“We want to state categorically that Rivers people elected the Governor to lead them to the promised land. They did not put him in office as a people so he can trample upon their values, honour, integrity, self esteem and self respect.
“Our democratic culture has often been anchored on the respect of the will of the people. It is the basis of the social contract which exists, and the foundation of the bond that has held the State together as a bastion of democracy.
“Our founding fathers fought for a State that would be home to all Rivers people. They fought so that we would co-exist in harmony, peace and unity.
“They fought so we could dream great dreams of greatness and progress; pursue a common purpose; and promote the spirit of oneness and brotherhood
‘By the grace of God, Rivers people have only a few more months to wait. When that time comes, Rivers people shall have the opportunity to install a leadership that will respect the will of the people. That day will certainly come”, the statement added.
Chief Ogbonna Nwuke,
Spokesman, Rivers APC.
Dated Saturday, July 10, 2021