The appeal came from Arewa leader in the south, Musa Saidu, who emphasized in a chat with Vanguard that any upheaval in the state could deter investors, creating a ripple effect across the Niger Delta region.
Saidu pointed out that not only would such a crisis discourage investors from entering the country, but it could also undermine the federal government’s efforts to attract investments, especially considering the significant role the Niger Delta’s oil-based economy plays in the overall economic landscape of the nation.
“Rivers state is the energy corridor of Nigeria and spreads to the Gulf of Guinea through the Bonny River. It must be protected by the federal government from political crisis.
“The President should call his Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, to order. Since he started fighting Governor Sim Fubara, the state has had tension. People are afraid of what will happen in Rivers State. The crisis in Rivers state will be bigger than what some think it will be if the current situation is allowed to get out of hand.
“There is a massive underground build-up against Sim Fubara. The Ijaws will not surrender to this. We don’t want a crisis in Rivers State. There is peace in Bayelsa, and we want that peace in Rivers State. If there is a crisis in Rivers state, it will be disruptive to the economy of the country because the crisis will spread across Niger Delta.”
Saidu emphasized that the Ijaw people of Rivers State patiently waited for twenty-four years to attain the governorship seat peacefully. Given this historical context, he cautioned that they might not easily yield to any attempt to remove them from the government house when it is rightfully their turn.
“It took Ijaws 24 years after to get the governor in Rivers state, and somebody is plotting to remove him. I don’t see how it will work.”
Saidu urged President Tinubu to demonstrate, through his actions, that he is not involved in the troubling political situation in Rivers State.
He suggested that Tinubu could achieve this by either instructing his Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to desist from any activities contributing to the issue or by considering the removal of the minister from his position.
“President Tinubu should convince Nigerians that he has no hand in the crisis in the political crisis in Rivers state by either calling his Minister of FCT to order and, if he fails to comply, sack him or ask him to resign. Nigeria needs the peace in Rivers State.
“The federal government should not allow Abuja to be the ground to plot crisis for Rivers state. People are being invited to Abuja to hold meetings all about Governor Sim Fubara. I am in Abuja as I am talking to you.
“This is happening at a time when the Federal government is inviting investors to come to the country. I don’t think any serious investor will come when there is a crisis in Rivers State and the Niger Delta. The investors’ confidence in the federal government is building should not be chattered.
“The peace that took time to be built in Rivers state should be sustained. There is tension in Rivers State, and it can lead to anything. You can’t push out a governor easily. We all know this. The Ijaws have taken it as their battle.
Saidu underscored the need for preventive measures in Rivers State, suggesting that either Wike should resign or be sacked to avert a potential crisis.
He emphasized the importance of avoiding the exacerbation of issues in Nigeria stemming from the Fubara situation.
Saidu also urged President Tinubu to exercise caution, particularly in light of Wike’s aspirations for a presidency with a different political party, which adds a layer of complexity to the political dynamics.
“The Minister should resign from office or be sacked. If the federal government allows Abuja to be the base to plot crisis for Rivers state, the effect may rub on the system.
“Let this Fubara issue not bring another problem in Nigeria. Wike should resign or be sacked.
“I am telling this to Mr President, Senate President, NSA. What I am seeing will consume the Niger Delta.
“President Tinubu should know that Wike aspired for the presidency in another party, so he has to be careful. Hope this is not a ploy to destroy Tinubu’s government to make way for another candidate by the next election.“