Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has advised those agitating for secession to rather strive for a restructuring of the country in order to foster the much-desired unity.
Wike stated this when the Primate of the All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Chukwuka Ndukuba, led a delegation of the Church on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The Governor explained that the people of Rivers State had for decades lived peacefully with Nigerians from other parts of the country, but, regretted that criminals under the aegis of the outlawed, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), had misconstrued the peaceful disposition of the state to carry out treasonous activities like foisting their flags and renaming Rivers communities.
He stated that Rivers State was peaceful during the EndSARS protest, until IPOB members unleashed unprovoked attacks that killed six soldiers, four policemen, and destroyed all police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo.
The governor reiterated that the allegation that he ordered soldiers to attack Igbo people living in Oyigbo was untrue and politically motivated. According to him, if he has not imposed curfew based on security advice, there would have been a bloody confrontation between Hausa and Igbo communities.
He urged those with divisive tendencies to join those clamouring for the restructuring of the country in order to usher a new Nigeria.
“We need the unity of this country. What everybody is talking about is the restructuring of this country. If we are practising federalism, let it be federalism. We can’t be talking about federalism, but practising unitary system of government.”
The Governor implored the Church to continue to pray for Nigeria because the country was apparently sitting on a keg of gun powder.
“This is the time for the church not to be docile; this is the time for the church to speak out. When society is bad, it affects the church. When governance is bad, it affects the church. No matter how we look at it. Nobody can run away from it, things are not working well in the country. The way the country is supposed to be is not where we are. Even when you are on the pulpit, it is an opportunity to speak to your members that things are not well”, he said.
Wike said as a Christian, he had no apology for handing over the state to God. He used the occasion to announce a donation of N500 million on behalf of the Rivers State government to support the Anglican Church education development and mission fund.
The governor further urged Most Rev. Ndukuba to advise the church to obey the COVID-19 protocols. According to him, security report at his disposal indicates churches do not adhere to COVID-19 protocol.
Meanwhile, the Primate of the All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Chukwuka Ndukuba, said in a time of uncertainty in the country, the church was very proud of the steps and stance the governor had taken on critical issues.
“We come not only to encourage you as the Lord encouraged Joshua, we believe as the Lord was with Joshua, He will be with you; He will strengthen you, and under your leadership, this state will know greatest, development and peace. The Lord God Almighty who called you and gave you this opportunity, will not leave you nor forsake you. Only be strong and courageous. We are proud of you.”
He stated that in a time like this, when people were surrounded by uncertainty, it was good to see the governor standing out boldly, leading with firmness and leading with courage.
“We are very proud of the steps you have taken, the stands you have taken and the way you have demonstrated your love for God and for the people, because governance is a sacred trust. And indeed we have seen you demonstrate that very well”, he said.
The Primate said the church had declared the decade of 2020 to 2030, a decade of the reign of God. He stated that the intention under his leadership would focus on the things that would touch the life of the people.