BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR
…As NBA sues for peace…
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has decried developments in Rivers State lamenting that the country is yet to learn from a similarly dark period when Governor Chris Ngige and democratic institutions in Anambra State were brutally violated 10 years ago.
In narrations on his twitter handle, Atiku drew surprising similarities between the developments in Rivers State and Anambra State which ironically commenced exactly about the same time 10 years ago, on July 10, 2003.
Atiku said: “I got a lot of tweets about the removal of Gov. Chris Ngige during my time in office. Today is exactly 10 years,” he said in the first tweet posted on Wednesday.
Following that he also tweeted: “it is an interesting coincidence that the sad events in Rivers are taking place around the 10th anniversary of a similar scenario in Anambra.
“It was July 10, 2003. The President was away to Uganda on an official visit. I was holding fort for him as Vice President.”
Giving details of his response, he tweeted: “A telephone call came in from a frantic Gov Ngige. He had been abducted, beaten and confined to a room.”
“I immediately placed a call to the IG of Police, Tafa Balogun, with orders to put a stop to the subversion of democracy.
“Exactly 10 years later it seems we have failed to learn any lessons from one of the darkest moments in our recent democratic history”.
NBA sues for peace, urges combatants to approach court for adjudication
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has called on parties involved in the political crisis in Rivers to channel their grievances to the courts to avoid breakdown of peace.
This advice was contained in statement by the President of the NBA, Mr Okey Wali.
Wali called on the parties to sheath their swords and approach the courts for adjudication.
He said: “The political differences in Rivers State until now have been in the courts, which is the right and proper way to settle disputes in any civilised society.
“This is why the NBA refrained from issuing statements on the matter, as they were subjudice.
“But the latest twist of violence is a dangerous dimension that must be condemned very strongly and quickly.
He called on the Federal Government and security agencies to ensure restoration of peace and tranquility in Rivers.
“The rule of law must prevail, and there must be no sacred cows, as nobody is above the law,” the statement said.
He emphasised the need for security agencies to ensure that the interest and well being of the people of Rivers remained paramount.