BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, Port Harcourt
Rivers State governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, has condemned the decision of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to withdraw the security details of Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, describing the action as a sign of overzealousness.
This is as the governor called on all Nigerians to work towards the promotion of the unity of the country and its corporate existence
Wike, who spoke at Awka, the Anambra State capital during the 6th Zik Lecture Series in honour of the first President of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe, said that no amount of intimidation will solve the challenges of Nigeria.
He decried the level of impunity displayed by the Idris in the withdrawal of the security details of Obiano, pointing out that he suffered the same fate during the legislative rerun elections in Rivers State.
Wike stated that Nigerians will resist the plot to manipulate the 2019 polls, saying that the lawless actions of the Inspector General of Police reveals the plan to use intimidation as a political weapon.
The governor said, “Irrespective of the side of the political and social divide we may belong, we all share a common responsibility as leaders and ordinary people to advance and preserve the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria, which for me, is the greatest honour we can ever give to the memory of the Great Zik of Africa.
“But in committing ourselves to this mission, we cannot also continue to deny the challenges that we presently face as a nation and the choice that we must make to preserve the nation’s unity in the midst of increasing agitations for political and economic restructuring sweeping across the country”.
He stated that like every other pluralistic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society, Nigeria’s diversity remains the abiding source of the country’s collective strength and resilience.
Wike said, “However, our diversity is under severe stress and even becoming rather a threat to our collective progress because of embedded fault lines in the existing political and economic structures of the country.
“Unfortunately, our failures as a people to resolve these structural defects continue to trouble and negate national cohesion and development.
“For, it is vain to expect peace in injustice; unity in inequity and progress where governance is bereft of accountability, respect for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, and where national institutions are easily politicized, weakened and rendered ineffective.”
The governor commended founder of the Zik Lecture Series and secretary, caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ben Obi, for the very creative initiative.
He also commended the authorities of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka for providing the intellectual platform for the effective propagation of the timeless ideas and enduring values of the Great Zik of Africa.
Wike said, “Today, we are gathered here to honour the memory of one of the greatest sons of Igboland, of Nigeria and of the black race, the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe under the auspices of the Annual Zik Lecture Series instituted by my senior brother, Senator (Dr.) Ben Obi.
“Whatever verdict history records, no one can deny that Zik was not just one of the foremost architects of the Nigerian nation; he was also among the most towering figures in the history of Africa’s politics.
“The Great Zik therefore deserves all and every honour his apostles, and in deed a grateful nation, can bestow to keep his memory alive and in the consciousness of the people.”
Earlier in his speech, founder of the Zik Lecture Series, Senator Ben Obi said that the lecture series was initiated to cerebrate the legacies of the first Nigerian President and to immortalise him.
Delivering the lecture, former Minister of Information and the President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, traced the developmental challenges facing the country to the foundational problem orchestrated by the colonial administration.
Nwodo called for restructuring of the country on the premise of a knowledge based economy and agriculture.
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