The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said on Friday that he survived an assassination attempt on his life on Thursday night after soldiers allegedly sent by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarham, confronted his security details.
Wike also claimed that the military was supplying fake uniforms to militants purportedly hired by the All Progressives Congress for the purpose of disrupting the elections and unleashing mayhem.
Speaking after a meeting with officials of the British High Commission at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday, Wike said Sarham had been taking “very unprofessional measures to silence the PDP members.”
The governor added that he had informed the British High Commission and other foreign missions of the anti-democratic actions of the security forces, especially the Nigerian Army.
He said, “Last night, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, plotted an assassination on my life. Thank God, that was not successful.
“On Friday, 15th of January, a day to the 16th of February, the first date for the elections before it was rescheduled, the GOC sent soldiers to cordon off my private residence.
“Yesterday, I was shocked that when I left the Government House to see some political leaders, soldiers were trailing me. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have military security details.
“Along Abacha Road where you have Algate Hotel, to my surprise, I heard my security men shouting that the soldiers are behind us. I have said this several times about the GOC of the 6 Division that nobody should kill because he was promised the position of Chief of Army Staff.”
Wike said that the GOC could be promoted to the position of the Chief of Army Staff without killing anyone, insisting that there was no need to kill innocent people for personal ambition.
He said that Rivers State was strategically positioned in Nigeria and should not be destabilised for political goals.
“Rivers State is so important to this country. The economy of Nigeria cannot survive without Rivers State. By what they are doing, they are scaring investors away,” Wike added.
He urged the President to talk to the Army to “reduce their level of partisanship and illegal activities ahead of the elections.
“The GOC held a meeting with the soldiers yesterday (Thursday) and said they must do everything they can to ensure that the President wins. That is not good. Allow Nigerians to support whoever they want to support,” he said.
He said there was no reason for any fight in the state because the APC was not running the governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Rivers State.
Earlier, the Political Officer of the British High Commission in Nigeria, Louis Edwards, said they were in the state to observe the elections.
She said that the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Rivers State had assured her that things would work well, maintaining that she was looking forward to peaceful elections.
Reacting in a statement, the 6 Division, through Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, stated that though the Nigerian Army would not take issues with any politician, the utterance had compelled it to warn mischief makers to stay away from the Army.
The statement read in part, “It is clear that the political atmosphere in our country has reached its crescendo with political actors outwit ting each other. However, most worrisome is the activities of some politicians who find pleasure in maligning the Nigerian Army.
“In the light of irresponsible utterances, through politically motivated allegations against the Division in the last one week, the Division is compelled to warn mischief makers to stay clear of the Nigerian Army.”