A STATE-WIDE BROADCAST BY GOVERNOR NYESOM WIKE, CON, GSSRS, POS 20TH OCTOBER 2020.
My Dear Good People of Rivers State,
2. First of all, I wish to thank you all for the existing calm and peaceful disposition of our people since the beginning of the “EndSARS” protest in the State.
3. As a Government, our position on SARS and the raging protests and related issues are well known to the world. We strongly support the objectives of the “EndSARS” protest for as long as it remains peaceful.
4. We were the first in this country to expose the cruelties and brutalities of SARS and challenged the Federal Government to rein in on this evil force but nothing happened.
5. We went further to set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry, headed by a High Court Judge, which indicted some operatives of the much dreaded and notorious SARS for acts of criminal misconduct, including murder and gross human rights abuse across the State.
6. We submitted the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry to the relevant Federal Authorities, including the Police High Command, but nothing was done.
7. Instead of support we were accused of playing politics and the Rotimi Amaechi-led faction of the All Progressives Congress even organized a demonstration in support of the persistence of SARS and its atrocities against the people.
8. What is true is that, by God’s grace, Rivers State have in a long while been secure and peaceful under our watch as we continue to strive and deliver on our commitments to the people.
9. Recall that during my 2nd inauguration address, we waived the olive branch, promised to run an all-inclusive government and called on all to join us to move the State forward.
10. We demonstrated good faith and made good our promise by directing the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to enter a nolle prosequi in favour of all those who had issues with the criminal process in our Courts.
11. To our utmost surprise and quite unfortunately, intelligence report shows clearly that the Rotimi Amaechi-led faction of the All Progressives Congress based in Abuja is capitalizing on the opportunity created by the ongoing “EndSARS” protest to destabilize the prevailing peace and progress in the State.
12. As a matter of fact, one of the beneficiaries of these kind gestures, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree is the one that led hired thugs and miscreants from neibouring States into Port Harcourt to cause mayhem and destruction under the guise of supporting “PRO-SARS” protests, against the overwhelming mood of the nation and the clear directive of Mr. President on ending the SARS menace for good.
13. We are not surprised because these characters are the very ones that used SARS in the recent past to intimidate, harass, maim and kill our people, including the late Dr. Ferry Gberegbe.
14. Clearly, today’s “PRO-SARS” protest, which defines Rotimi Amaechi’s predilection for violent street actions for political goals, were intended to provoke the peace-loving people of Rivers State to needless violence and destruction,
15. We commend the people of Rivers State for their peaceful disposition for and for refusing to be provoked by these miscreants and their spineless sponsors throughout today’s ill-intended protest.
16. We also commend the security agencies for ensuring that nothing untoward happened during the protest.
17. We had initially declined to set up another Panel of Inquiry to investigate the activities of SARS as directed by the National Council of States but have decided to change this position because of the new facts and evidences on ground.
18. Consequently, we shall be inaugurating a Judicial Panel of Inquiry within the next 48 hours to investigate the brutality and human rights abuse of SARS in Rivers State.
19. At this point, it is important to remind Hon. Flag-Amachree and his fellow criminal travelers that nolle prosequi is not an acquittal and Government will not hesitate to re-instate the criminal proceedings against them if they continue with their predispositions to violence and criminal misconduct in Rivers State.
20. Enough is enough. Rivers State is peaceful and we cannot and will not allow any misguided person or group to exploit the current situation to disturb the peace and endanger our collective security.
21. We had intended to reconstitute the Task Force on illegal trading and motor parks to clear the madness and restore sanity and order to our streets but for the prevailing tensed situations.
22. But be assured that a reformed and disciplined Task Force will soon be in place to clear our streets and roads of illegal trading and park activities and the associated nuisance.
23. We want to further assure you that we shall not be distracted in our determination to defend the interest of the State and transform all parts of Rivers State with the resources at our disposal.
24. Finally, we urge all well-meaning citizens to remain vigilant and ensure that we do not play into the hands of these detractors.
25. Thank you for your continued support and appreciation for our efforts as we pledge to fast-track the delivery of all on-going development projects and make life more meaningful for all.
26. Thank you and God bless you all.