Governor of Rivers State and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has advised the Nigerian military to play lesser role in political activities so as to allow the civilian populace exercise their civic responsibility in an atmosphere devoid of rancour and acrimony as well as undue influence.
Amaechi spoke on Friday evening when the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah, led a delegation of top ranking army officers to pay a courtesy call on him at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor said, “The military needs to play lesser role in politics. I have said that severally. I am sure you will ensure that the relationship between the military, civilians and politicians is cordial, such that the 2015 elections would not be controversial”.
He expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Army for its role in the fight against militancy and criminality in Rivers State, while appealing to the 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, to leverage on its strong security networks to help stamp out kidnapping in the state as the continued activities of the kidnappers could crumble the fast growing economy of the state.
Amaechi said, “We have a peaceful co-existence in Rivers State with the military. And we cannot claim to have fought militancy if not for the support of the 2nd Brigade, Bori Camp. There was a period it was so bad, they had to get more soldiers from outside to join the soldiers here in Rivers State. After that, you could freely drive around peacefully until recently.
“The situation in Rivers State is gradually going back to what it used to be in 2006, 2007, and 2008. It is not the cause of the brigade commander or the army. The problem is that, politicians are back and they have brought back the boys. They say they are freedom fighters, now what are they fighting for?
“I have argued that the reason for which the militancy was set up was to get the Presidency to the South-South region. We no longer hear about resource control. And if we cannot control our resources, then we need to go back to our houses and allow the government in power to govern the state”, he said.