A high-powered delegation of the Northern Governors Forum on Monday visited the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, with a message that despite the unfortunate incidents in Abia State, steps had been taken to ensure that there were no retaliatory attacks in different parts of the country.
Making a veiled reference to the attacks by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra on Hausa community in some parts of the country, the governors said no law-abiding Nigerian deserves to be punished as a result of where he resides and do business.
They called for the enthronement of peace-building measures despite the challenges facing the country.
The northern governors, who hailed Wike for taking urgent steps that led to the protection of Nigerians living in the state, made reference to the conflicted that erupted in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the Rivers State.
Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said that Wike’s actions, especially his state-wide broadcast helped to restore peace, despite the challenges.
“Governor Wike, we are mightily proud of you. We are mightily associating ourselves with you. Nigeria is greater than political differences. We belong to one political family and that is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“No interest should be bigger than the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You believe in the Nigerian Project. For that, we remain eternally grateful. In spite of what has happened, in Abia State, steps have been put in place to ensure there is no retaliatory attack in any part of the country,” Shetimma added.
Responding, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, promised that he would continue to protect all Nigerians and foreigners living in the state.
He said, “Rivers State believes in the unity of this country. Rivers State will not be a part of those calling for the disintegration of Nigeria. We owe it as a duty to protect every Nigerian living in the state.
“I will not allow any group intimidate, harass or attack other Nigerians living in the state. We are Rivers people and we belong to the Niger Delta.”
Explaining that violence can never lead to the resolution of any grievances, Wike urged all aggrieved persons to embrace dialogue in the interest of peace and development.
He said, “I am not against anyone who wants to protest any grievance, but there are channels for such protests.”
The Northern Governors Forum delegation led by its Chairman and Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima has Katsina State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri; Kebbi State Governor, Senator Atiku Bagudu; and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong as members.