The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed concern over the safety of the state governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, days after the State Security Service, SSS, issued him a warning over his public utterances.
The SSS had on Tuesday given Mr. Amaechi and other politicians last warning against making incendiary comments ahead of the February elections, saying such statements would no longer be tolerated.
The warning came on the heels of the governor’s justification of some soldiers’ decision to protest their lack of equipment in the fight against Boko Haram.
The APC, in a statement by its chairman, Davies Ikanya, on Friday, said the SSS warning might be a prelude to the arrest and possible trial of Amaechi, who is the Director General of the Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation.
Stating that the action of the security agency was “totally unacceptable”, the party said the governor’s fate, if detained, might not be different from that of the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola, who died in detention in 1998.
“We have every reason to be worried about the safety of our dear Governor in view of the lessons of history, especially with regard to the late Chief MKO Abiola, who was unjustifiably detained, only to die under mysterious circumstances while in government custody”, it said.
“We are, therefore, reluctant to dismiss reports in various media outlets suggestive of a threat to the life of Governor Amaechi in connection with his current assignment as Director General of General Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation”.
The APC described the action of the SSS as “an attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it”.
According to the party, there was nothing inciting, unguarded or treasonable in Mr. Amaechi’s statement, stressing that he was merely expressing his views on the factors militating against the success of the Federal Government’s war against Boko Haram insurgents in the North Eastern part of the country.
It explained that the governor merely blamed the challenges on corruption in the military hierarchy and not on inadequate funding as the public is made to believe.
“It is unfortunate that, rather than accept the challenge of fighting corruption, the Federal Government has chosen to ignore the message and go after the messenger”, the party said.
The APC warned that nothing should happen to the governor for patriotically exercising his freedom of speech as a citizen of Nigeria in line with the Constitution of the country.
The party added, “We understand why the sinking PDP-controlled Presidency is resorting to intimidation as it has read the handwriting on the wall in the countdown to the 2015 presidential polls.
“We, however, wish to make it clear that both Gov. Amaechi and his supporters will not be cowed but remain resolute in leading the struggle to uproot PDP from the Aso Presidential Villa as the first step towards salvaging Nigeria from the doldrums occasioned by the inept 16-year maladministration of PDP”.
The party pointed out that Nigerians were yearning for change and it would give them that change by ensuring that the PDP-led government was peacefully voted out come 2015.
The APC said, “If any of our security agencies need to arrest anybody, they should start with associates of President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, President Jonathan’s Campaign Director of Media and Dr. Doyin Okupe, the President’s Aide on Public Affairs, who has being making inciting and unguarded statements both against the vision of APC and our presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, whose well-known stand on corruption has sent cold shivers down the spine of the present corrupt leadership in Aso Rock.
“We wish to assure Gov. Amaechi that he has nothing to be afraid of, as God, who has in the past years protected him despite the evil machinations of the PDP and the Presidency, will surely see him through this time around and protect him from every danger as he leads the patriotic battle to rescue Nigeria and Nigerians from the vice grip of PDP through the instrumentality of the ballot box”.