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Governor Wike Denies Ordering Soldiers To Kill Residents Of Oyigbo Community In Rivers

Valentine Chinyem

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, denied allegations that he ordered soldiers to harass and kill residents of Oyigbo local government area of the state.

The governor who last week proscribed the Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the state, also declared a 24-hour curfew in the LGA, after residents of the community were fingered in the murder of some policemen and soldiers.

Violence was said to have broken out, following the EndSARS protest. This necessitated the deployment of security operatives in the local government to prevent further breakdown of law and order.

The soldiers, who out of revenge over their colleagues murder, are accused of attacking the community in the cover of night and committing extra-judicial killings and abuse of human rights.

They are also said to be moving from house to house, killing people on the governor’s order.

But speaking during an interview on Africa Independent Television (AIT) on Monday, Wike denied the allegation against him.

According to Wike,“The issue of people saying I sent soldiers to Oyingo to kill Igbo people is balderdash; It is completely a none issue. Have I even directed police one day? I have no command over the police so how will I now begin to direct the army?”

“I said security agencies, I never said the military, are to make sure this ban on IPOB is maintained and that they should not allow the activities of IPOB, anywhere in any of the local governments. Oyigbo is the boundary between us and Abia state, so it is very easy for them to use Oyigbo to launch attacks, and we came out to say that what has happened is something that we should not take lightly; we must come out openly, heavily against this terrorist organisation. I have no regret about that and I stand on my point to say that even the south-east governors never supported IPOB. So why me? I’m not from the south-east, I’m from Niger Delta, now support IPOB? On what basis?

“People are now seeing IPOB as if it is the mouthpiece of the Igbo people which is not correct. You cannot allow some bands of criminals to give the people a bad name. No responsible government can see the kind of destruction, for nothing …they went to kill six army operatives, four police officers…. They’re using it to cause trouble in my state and you say I should not talk. It came to a situation where the Igbos were now fighting the Hausas.”

He alleged that his predecessor, former Rivers governor, Rotimi Amaechi, now transport minister, told the people of the state to rise up against him.

“He thinks I’m harassing him politically, so he is doing that to bring me down,” he said.