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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Goodluck Jonathan Urges Unity Amidst Political Tensions In Rivers State

Jonathan made the call on Monday during the flag-off of the Trans-Kalabari Road in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, describing the political tension in Rivers State as worrisome.

“Outgoing governors and incoming governors must know that they work together for the collective interest of the citizens of the state and that is critical,” he said.

“In the case of Rivers, Honourable Minister Nyesom Wike and Governor Sim Fubara must work together to develop the land and people of Rivers State. The tension will not help us.”

“So, I urge political actors, you must work together if you love the Rivers people. I join the leaders of Rivers State and well-meaning Nigerians that have been calling for truce and ceasefire to also reemphasise that there is a need for a ceasefire,” Jonathan said. “Let us do things that would rather project the state.”

“We are calling on them [Wike and Fubara] to embrace themselves. One hand does not clap. It takes two hands to clap. So, we want them to work together for the collective interest,” Jonathan added.

‘Heart of the Niger Delta’
Rivers State has been embroiled in a political crisis since late last year following a fallout between Wike, now the FCT Minister, and Fubara. While President Bola Tinubu had waded into the conflict and the tussle seemed to have faded away, the drama took a new twist a few weeks back.

Some commissioners loyal to Wike have resigned – for the second time – while lawmakers faithful to the FCT minister have intensified their brawl with Fubara.

Worried by the unending conflict, Jonathan argued that the stability of the oil-rich state is crucial to the nation’s development.

“Rivers State is very critical in this country. Rivers State is the heart of the Niger Delta. If River State is destabilised, the whole Niger Delta will be destabilised,” Jonathan told the gathering.

“And it will not end within the Niger Delta alone because I am from this part of the country and I know how the system works and we don’t want any crisis in Rivers State,” he said.

Jonathan expressed worry over the incessant battles between governors and their predecessors, insisting that they do not augur well for Nigeria.

“Transition in Nigeria is becoming a problem. At the centre, presidents have taken over from presidents. They are always issues but at least it is better managed.

“But at the state level, it is becoming noisy in so many states and I feel that that is not the best,” he said.

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