Thursday, 11 July 2013

‘We are under siege in Rivers’– Amaechi

We are under siege in Rivers State-Gov Amaechi
Going by the prevalent violence, disturbances and fracas that rocked the activities of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the week, Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that the government and people of the State are under siege.

Amaechi spoke on Thursday when the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration investigating the crisis in the State came to see him at Government House, Port Harcourt

“Yesterday, they were shooting tear gas into Government House.  When we were meeting with the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) today, the Police claimed that it was inadvertent, that they shot tear gas into Government House.  So, I asked one question, supposing, it was live bullet and it hit me, they said, 'nooo, governor was not outside,' but I said, I was outside, you can check”, Amaechi said.

The State Chief Executive also expressed shock over the sudden withdrawal of soldiers and APC attached to Government House, stating that in the last two months, Security Commanders in the state have not held meetings with him.

“We are under siege here, for two months now, we have not met with security men.  Security Commanders in the state don’t come to me any longer. They are either scared or they don’t deliberately want to see me.  They had withdrawn soldiers attached to me yesterday.  And this morning, they withdrew the APC attached to Government House”, Amaechi said.

Earlier, Chairman of the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration, Senator Kabiru Gaya said, the committee was delegated by the Senate to come to Rivers State and investigate, and find workable solution to the violence and disturbances rocking the state.

“Your Excellency, yesterday, the 10th of July, 2013, the Senate had a meeting or session where a motion was raised by Senator Magnus Abe on the state of the situation in Rivers State. And the motion was discussed.  We had two hours in the closed door session to discuss how best to sustain our stable democracy. How best we could have the legislators perform their functions without undue interference”, Senator Gaya said.

He noted that the Senate had condemned the fracas that happened at the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“I will also say the state was under the situation of violence, and there was disturbances in Rivers State.  Therefore, this committee was mandated by the Senate to come and investigate, and also invite other members, including stakeholders.  After this courtesy visit, we have to discuss with you (Amaechi) Your Excellency to know what happened from your side.  We also need to talk with the Assembly members on both sides, including the Commissioner of Police, the SSS and the JTF.  We have already asked the Commissioner of Police to meet us this evening and DSS", Senator Gaya said.

"The purpose of our mission is to ensure peace return in the state and to maintain good governance, so that the people in the state will relax and have peace.  Because, we are not happy with what we saw, and what we heard, especially, when we saw people walking in the streets and their hands up as if, they are being interrogated or the state is at war. So, Your Excellency, our members are here, and as Landlord and Chief Security Officer of the state, we have come to tell you why we are in Rivers State.  You must have watched what the senate had done, and what the House of Representatives did, but I believe at the end of the day, we will come out with a positive resolution for the interest of the state and the nation’, Senator Gaya explained.

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