Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North, Chris Ochayi
Northern youths, yesterday, took issue up with the Inspector General of Police and the Presidency, asking them to tender a public apology to the four northern governors, who were attacked by political thugs opposed to the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, last week as well as threaten reprisal attack.
It will be recalled that some riotous youths suspected to have been sponsored, pelted stones on the covey of Amaechi and his visiting colleagues from Jigawa, Niger, Kano and Adamwa states, damaging some vehicles in the process.
They placard-bearing elements also asked the visitors to leave the state, as they were not welcome.
But in their first reaction to the development, northern youths demanded an urgent sack of the Rivers Police Commissioner for turning a blind eye to the assault on the five governors while in Rivers State.
The youths under the aegis of Arewa Youth Forum and Northern Youth Congress noted with regrets that the attack of their governors in Port Harcourt, which was premeditated, could lead to a North-South conflict if not well handled.
The National President of the Arewa Youths Forum, Alhaji Gambo Gujungu, described the attack on the four northern governors by the sponsored Rivers politicians as an assault on the people of the region and an attempt to provoke a north-south crisis.
Gujungu demanded that the CP who said he was on top of the situation in Rivers State and the Inspector General of Police should explain to the nation why some thugs should be allowed to descend on visiting governors all in a bid to protect the interest of a faction in the Rivers crisis.
“It is the view of AYF that the attack on the four visiting northern governors and Amaechi was premeditated and targeted as humiliating them so as to provoke a North-South conflict so as to pave the way for the President, who is an interested party in the crisis, to declare a state of emergency in the state.
“We therefore, demand an open apology from all the actors, who set out to inflict bodily injury on our sons during their innocuous visit to Rivers State. Failure to do so, we might be compelled to confront top-ranking officials of the government we consider as being ‘unfriendly’ to the north.
The group asked the Presidency to take urgent steps to end the crisis in Rivers State, as it would not do him or those he considers as his enemies any good at the end of the day.
On his part, the National Coordinator of the NYC, Abdulmumini Tijani, asked the Presidency to allow Amaechi to perform his functions as the duly elected chairman of the NGF without and orchestrated intimidation harassment.
Tijani warned the Plateau State Governor, Da jang, who is trying to usurp the seat from Amaechi through the backdoor, to desist forthwith from parading himself as the NGF leader, so as to save the nation avoidable embarrassment.
The group warned that all the elements, who have elected to persecute the Rivers State Governor Amaechi to desist from such action or be ready to face the wrath of the Nigerian people.
The NYC asked the controversial Rivers CP, Mbu Joseph Mbu, to urgently resign from his office for taking side in the crisis and denting the image of the police force in the process.
“ For Mbu’s admitted nonchalance, negligence of duty and total complicity in the crimes perpetrated against the governor of Rivers State, the state House of Assembly and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the CP should resign from office forthwith.
“In the event that he Mbu remains adamant and refuses to resign, we call on the IG to sack him and subject him to thorough investigation.
The northern group also called on the five lawmakers in the Rivers State House of Assembly who attempted to impeach the Speaker for pecuniary reasons to be recalled and be prosecuted for fighting and brutality.
“They said, “President Goodluck Jonathan should break his silence; condemn these desterdaly acts of brigandage being visited on the good person of the governor of the state and the people and to deal with the security breaches in Rivers State.
“The Nigeria Police should tender an unreserved apology to the four Northern governors for permitting the breakdown of law and order, which led to the attacks on the governors.
“In view of the fact the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has diverted his from minding his duty and concentrated his efforts on the local Rivers politics while the entirty of the educational sector has been brought to a grinding halt, he should resign forthwith,” NYC demanded.
But Wike fired back at the group, saying that they were ignorant of his role as a Minister of State for Education, questioning what their interest was in Rivers politics.
Accusing them of being sponsored by politicians, the Minister asked them to desist from toying with his name, as he had done his best to resolve the ASUP strike and was talking with ASUU to ensure the resumption of lectures in the universities across the country.
“If these people have nothing to do, they should stop moving about and insulting people who are working for the country,” Wike said.