By Stanley Onyekwere
A foremost Civil Society Organisation (CSO, 4th Force Liberation Movement has accused Governor Nyesom Wike of funding separatists and criminal elements in the Niger Delta region.
In a statement signed by Boniface Tegha, Secretary General, the group reasoned that owing to the governor’s antecedents, the state may be thrown into severe crisis as he resorts to violence as a favourite strategy.
Recently, a militant group known as Network of Niger Delta Republic Fighters warned of an impending breakaway, highlighting some selective maltreatment of Niger Delta people.
However, the group advised the embattled governor to forthwith desist from further separatist agenda and avoid dragging the Nigerian Army into his personal scheme.
The statement reads:“ The 4th Force Liberation Movement, after reviewing development in the polity of Rivers state in recent days, is concerned at the belligerence being exhibited by the governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike.
“ Already, since the conduct of the elections this year, Rivers state has been experiencing violence of a frequency, intensity and complexity never seen in the state before.
“We reliably gathered that the intelligence community have traced this upsurge in violence to the activities of thugs that the state governor empowered with weapons for the purpose of rigging the election in his favour and that of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), his party.
“ It has also been confirmed that the so called Niger Delta Republic Fighters, Wike’s new terrorist group is a reincarnation of Niger Delta Avengers, which suffered reputational damage after meddling in politics and becoming exposed to slush funds.
“ Disappointingly, even though Barrister Wike has been identified as the brain behind most of the criminal acts now bedevilling the Niger Delta region, he has taken no steps towards remediation, like calling the foot soldiers he armed to order.
“Even with the recent threats by some elements, like the Niger Delta Republic Fighters, to declare a breakaway republic on June 1, the Rivers state governor has not shown contrition.
“What Barrister Wike has done instead was to begin a campaign of deceit and distraction, which he is using to take attention away from the key problem of growing separatist activities under his guidance.
“His lies about the military being involved in illegal oil bunkering is intended both to make Nigerians unaware of his plot at secession and to fool the federal government to withdraw the military from the Niger-Delta to allow his boys strike without resistance.
“We therefore want law enforcement agencies to investigate talks of Barrister Wike and one Mrs Patience Jonathan know more than they are letting on in the instability brewing up in the Niger Delta. Of particular interest should be donations and fundings they have made in recent weeks since they use the covers of patronage for youth groups, socio-cultural associations and NGOs to finance the militants that are now threatening Nigeria with secession.”