The State Security Service, SSS, has accused the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, of working with an aide to Senate President Bukola Saraki to destabilise the Federal Capital Territory during yuletide with a view to casting federal authorities in bad light.
The said aide to the Senate President, Ikenga Ugochinyere, is to help Mr. Wike mobilise hoodlums to execute the violent plan, SSS alleged in a statement signed by an official, Tony Opuiyo, and distributed by PR Nigeria.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the general public that it has uncovered a sinister plot by the Rivers State Governor Nyesom WIKE to disrupt machinery of governance in strategic Federal Government agencies by provoking a violent breach of peace in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, today, 22nd December, 2016 and beyond especially at this yuletide season.
“To achieve this, the Governor had secured the services of one Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, a Personal Aide to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki (Sen), to mobilise some hoodlums to execute their plan,” the statement read.
Mr. Wike through his state’s commissioner for information, Austin Tam- George, has denied the allegation as “false, baseless and irresponsible scaremongering”.
The SSS raised the alarm amid counter-accusations of culpability in the violence and irregularities that characterized Rivers State federal and state legislative elections held on December 10.
Mr. Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party have accused officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the military and police of bias and aiding the violence.
But an audio recording has emerged portraying Mr. Wike as admitting to giving money to some electoral officials and threatening to kill them if they did not act to instructions.
Based on the recording, the All Progressives Congress and INEC have hit back with counter claims the Governor was himself behind the violence and irregularities that attended the elections.
The police said it would enlist service of foreign forensic experts to investigate the leaked audio recording.
The alleged plot by Mr. Wike to destabilize Abuja, according to the SSS, is intended to divert public and international attention from the ongoing police investigation into “the unwholesome role played by the Governor and some of his cronies in the violence that trailed the re-run election in Rivers State which resulted in the gruesome murder of civilians including the beheading of DSP Mohammed Alkali and some of his colleagues as well as the brutalization of INEC staff who failed to do the bidding of the Governor.”
In its statement, SSS, disclosed details of the alleged plot by Wike.
“In furtherance of this plot, protesters are to besiege the National Human Rights Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Assembly, the Nigerian Army and Police Headquarters as well as British High Commission, US Embassy and the UN Secretariat, Abuja; all in an effort to raise false alarm that Rivers State was under siege of security agencies during the elections.
“While the obvious aim is to draw public sympathy and international attention to spurious allegations of involvement of Federal agencies in violence during the last elections in Rivers State, the actual objective is really to trigger a round of violent action against the government and create opportunity for idlers to join the deceitful protest.
“Part of the orchestration is to provoke the security agencies and prompt them to take action against the protesters that could result in bloodletting. It is in this line that Ikenga had gone to the outskirts of Abuja to mobilise unemployed youth to carry out his bidding. All this was to be done for a fee and resources to be provided from the treasury of the Rivers State Government.
“It is also worrisome that Ikenga would engage in this nefarious plot when, after his last arrest earlier this year by the Service, he had pledged to be law abiding and not to cause a breach of the peace.
“Though Ikenga is now at large, the trio of Emeka Idibia, Ugo Apuamagha and Ejike Nwachukwu have been arrested and are helping with further investigations. These men were picked up at the mobilisation venue trying to perfect the logistics for this unholy enterprise. The young men were hired by Ikenga to take custody of items and materials for the planned violent protest.
“The recovered items include banners, placards and posters with denigrating, inciting and hate inscriptions meant to impinge the authority of the federal government and further subvert the entire machinery of governance in the country.
“In order to make this look credible, Ikenga and his cohorts had adopted such groups as Lawyers in Defence of Democracy (LDD) and Citizens for Good Governance (CGG) as cover to supposedly make them look like serious minded civil rights groups and thus bring them into collision course with security agencies.
“Investigations have so far revealed that while IKENGA is the field organizer and coordinator of the planned protest, Governor WIKE is his sole financial sponsor. The DSS is disturbed that the Governor who is the Chief Security Officer of the State will stoop so low to hire thugs and hoodlums to attack the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and create an atmosphere of chaos and disorder at this yuletide season.”
The SSS, however, said it would not be cowed or intimidated to stop it and other agencies from conducting concluding investigations into the Rivers State electoral violence.
In reaction to the alarm raised by the SSS, Mr. Tam-George, the information commissioner, speaking for Mr. Wike, said the “Governor is a man of peace, and would never orchestrate disturbance in any part of the country.
“The Rivers State Government challenges the SSS to leave Governor Wike alone and instead focus their operational attention on Boko Haram insurgency that has killed over 70,000 people and displaced 6 million Nigerians in the past six years..”
He said the Rivers State Government would not “succumb to cheap blackmail” by any federal agency.
In his reaction, Mr. Saraki, in a statement through his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, confirmed Mr. Ikenga is his aide.
The Senate President said he has not been officially informed by the SSS of the alleged plot.
The statement said the Senate President “will never condone any action by any of his aides that threatens the peace of any part of the country or provision of the law.”
“Dr. Saraki hereby calls on the DSS to properly investigate the allegations against Mr. Ikenga and if he is found to have acted against the law, then the law should take its natural course.”