Five governors from the South West and two from the North, making seven have appealed to parties involved in the Rivers State crisis to ceasefire by listening to the voice of reason so as to return the state to the path of peace.
The governors made the appeal when they paid courtesy call to the embattled governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi in Port Harcourt. The governors are that of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Senator Ibikunle Amosu (Ogun), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), while Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and his Zamfara and Nassarawa states counterparts, Mahmud Shinkafi and Umaru Tanko Al-Makura were represented by their deputies, Prince Eze Madumere, Alhaji Mukhtar Anka and Dameshi Barua Luka respectively.
“We believe that the tension in Rivers State is entirely avoidable and we want all parties to sheath their swords and help to restore the peace and security of our state here”, spokesperson for the governors, Fayemi said.
“We are here in support and solidarity with the Governor, the government and people of Rivers State in these challenging times. We are concerned, as fellow governors representing the various states that you see here, because the issue of security to us is of far more major concern to the people of Nigeria. You may be aware that today is the National Economic Council meeting and we ought to be in Abuja attending the meeting. Our being here is not a denigration of that meeting but it is important to stress our concern for the security of the citizens of Rivers State.
“We have been with our brother and Chairman of our Forum, Governor Amaechi; we have had extensive discussion here and he has briefed us on the situation on ground here and we do feel strongly, having listened to him, that it would be quite important for him to actually go and brief Mr. President who is our leader and chief security officer of the country on the very challenging security situation here.
“We believe that our chairman and brother will give serious consideration to that particular concern that we have all expressed to him, that it is important, as Chief Security Officer of Rivers State, he should take the opportunity to go and brief Mr. President on the security situation in this state.
“We also, in our deliberation with our brother, thought it would be important for the hierarchy of our Police authority, the Inspector General of Police, to help in restoring the confidence of the people of Rivers State that has been greatly diminished in the Police service and the command here in Rivers State.
“We believe the Inspector General of Police is very well placed to help take the necessary steps to restore the confidence of the people and the Governor of Rivers State in the Police and every step he should take to make that possible should, we believe, be taken.
“We do believe that this is a matter that truly requires the plural authority of Mr. President as well. It is about deepening democracy; it is about ensuring that peace reigns not just in Rivers, because he knows that Rivers is of concern to Governor Amaechi, but the security of the entire country is of concern to him. We are all President’s Governors and we feel that the he occupies a very critical position that necessitates his wielding moral authority in ensuring that peace reigns here and that nobody uses any form of subterfuge to create a situation that are entirely avoidable”, the Governor said.