Rivers Crisis: Pro-Wike protesters attempted to bomb hotel in P-Harcourt— Fubara


Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has alleged that the failed attempt to detonate an explosive device at the Hotel Presidential, a five-star hotel in Port Harcourt, was a deliberate ploy to strengthen the call for a state of emergency by haters who want to undermine the state to achieve their evil plans.

He said that he was not fighting anybody but rather defending the state against predators and protecting Rivers state against those who feel that they own the lives of others.

Meanwhile, the prime suspect in the failed detonation of the alleged explosive device outside the perimeter fence of Hotel Presidential, during a protest on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, has been nabbed, revived and is now receiving intensive care at the State University Teaching Hospital.

This came as the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, warned politicians in Rivers State to shun violence and prevent the current political crisis from escalating, stressing that such a situation would work against the interest of the state.

In another development, a faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state has expressed concerns over the possibility of an outbreak of guerilla warfare.

Governor Fubara, when he received on a courtesy visit, a delegation of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, led by its Chairman, Senator Orji Kalu, to Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said: “As a matter of fact, let me tell you, I know of everything that is happening. On Tuesday, they (protesters) were aware that you are in the state. So, there was an attempt to create serious problem.

“In fact, there was a plan to detonate dynamite at the Hotel Presidential because you people were there. But this God that we serve, it happened that the man, who was trying to do it, detonated it but just few seconds after, it blew his hands off.

“The plan was that as you were hearing of state of emergency, it will be such that by the time they finish, when you return to have your sitting on Thursday, the debate will be from somebody from this state, who called you to tell you not to come to Rivers State. He will now raise issue of state of emergency, and say after all, distinguished colleagues saw it happen while they were in Rivers State, that you saw what happened.

“But you see, when you are with God, even your child who is planning evil, will go and tell somebody that God is with this man because he is clean, this is what my father is planning. That is what is keeping us in this state.”

He wondered why it seemed that the law was silent or inactive to take its course over offenders as somebody appeared to be bigger than the law on the agitation, but there is nowhere in the country where tenure elongation for former local government chairmen has been an issue.

He pointed out that no governor in Nigeria can take 10 per cent of the abuse rained on him by former local government council chairmen.

Fubara said he had taken those insults and attacks in his strides without going hard on the purveyors because they planned to distract him.

He stressed that he had remained focused on delivering good governance and democratic dividends to Rivers people.

In his address, Chairman, of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Senator Kalu, said they were in Rivers State to carry out oversight duties on some projects under their purview.

Kalu, who is the member representing Abia North senatorial district, commended Fubara for his love for peace, determination to offer quality governance and keep pace with providing the right climate to engender economic growth to all residents in the state.

The Senate committee chairman also urged the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, to sheathe the sword, and call his supporters to order as a commitment to fostering peace and putting the interest of the State above all considerations.

Tuesday, a middle-aged man, yet to be named had blown up himself during a protest by some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in support of police occupation of the 23 local government area secretariats over the LGA leadership crisis in the state.

It was reported that the suspect was among the protesters and that he had the suspected dynamite that went off in his hand.

Reports said that the dynamite had exploded and shattered his hand as well as causing panic in in the area.

According to a source, Obinna (surname withheld) said the suspect was whisked away by other protesters as security agents trooped to the location where the explosion happened.

Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, who did not deny the report, had said she had yet to find out the full details of what transpired but promised to get back to our correspondent later.

But, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Olatunji Disu, while appearing on a television programme monitored in Port Harcourt, confirmed that a young man blew up himself with an explosive, noting that investigations were still on into development.

However, police have mounted tight security around the RSUTH with a mandate to secure law-abiding citizens, and particularly patients and staff of the facility.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Oreh, said on getting information of the incident, the state government immediately alerted the Ministry of Health and all medical facilities in the state to be on the lookout for the patient(s) with suspected injuries arising from blasts.

Oreh said the severely injured patient was brought into the facility by some persons, who claimed that he was taken from a road traffic accident scene, adding that on close observation, it was discovered that the injuries were not related to any road traffic accident.

Oreh said the management of RSUTH and the state government were working in collaboration with the Police which has been duly notified and already playing its role in investigating the incident and the suspect.

MOSOP warns against violence, demands respect for rule of law

President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, who issued the warning in a statement in Port Harcourt, yesterday, also condemned calls for the declaration of a state of emergency in the state, noting that the situation in Rivers can be resolved if politicians respect the court and the constitution.

Nsuke said it was the constitutional duty of Rivers people to defend the state, by refusing to be tools for violence and by cooperating with the relevant security agencies to ensure that peace was maintained through “a strategic and honest management” of the crisis.

The MOSOP president urged the feuding camps to show maturity and decency in the interest of peace and stability and commended Rivers people, the police and other security agencies for preventing the crisis from escalation and bloodshed.

APC faction worries over guerilla warfare in Rivers

The party said the detonation of an improvised explosive device (IED) on Tuesday at the Hotel Presidential axis of Port Harcourt was worrisome, adding that the protest was organised against all advice and caution by a political group.

A statement by Darlington Nwauju, spokesman of the APC faction, yesterday, said: “The protests appear to be orchestrated and stage-managed to justify their call for state of emergency, even where no such situation ordinarily exists.

“We are miffed by the deployment of guerrilla warfare to our polity and wonder why this ugly narrative must always headline political activities in Rivers State.

“Regrettably, this shameful and unfortunate incident reminds us of the January 19, 2023, bombing of the APC campaign venue at Rumuwoji town hall, another suburb of Port Harcourt, which left six APC members injured, and all the signs point to the same group, which seem to have the privilege of getting away with whatever violent crime they launched.

“We challenge Police authorities in Rivers State to rise to the occasion this time by quizzing sponsors/leaders of the protest of June 25, 2024, who are not only known political honchos, but apostles and sympathisers of the call for a state of emergency in Rivers State.

“They seem to apply the notion that whatever you can’t get you destroy. Their modus operandi, which is now common knowledge, is that whatever they want to launch, they first raise public outcry and point fingers to the opposite direction to deceive the public.” [Vanguard]

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