March 09, 2018 08:31 am
On Monday, the office of the President of Nigeria announced through its official Twitter handle, that President Buhari will be visiting Rivers State, alongside four other states, including Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, and Benue starting this March. The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, during the flag off of a road project in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said the Rivers State Government has not yet been officially informed of the President’s visit, or why he was visiting the State.
"I hear that the President is coming to our state. I have not been told the President is coming and why he is coming. He has the right to come to any state."
After the Near Year’s Day’s killing of more than a score of worshipers, the President issued a statement directing law enforcement agencies to make intense efforts to bring justice on the perpetrators of the massacre. Since the directive by the President, security agents have killed three high-ranking members of the gang, suspected to have committed the crime. The tweets by the Presidency stated that the visit was to have an on-the-spot assessment of the security situation in the state. But the Governor has disagreed with this reason, he said Rivers State does not have any prevalent security challenge.
"Let nobody bother him or herself that the President is coming for security reasons. We don't have security challenges in the state.
"We have never had herdsmen killings or crisis in the state, except when some criminals tried to disrupt the peace and they were checked. We resolved that challenge."
In an interview with Channels Television on Friday morning, the Governor reiterated that "frankly" he has only heard about the visit in the media, and that "It is not everything that comes out of the media that you take hook line and sinker." He also continued in his argument that Rivers State is not facing any prevailing security challenge that will warrant a special visit from the President.
At the flag off on Thursday, Governor Wike suggested that the President may be coming for political reasons, to “improve the fortunes” of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). He added that the visit could turn out to be good for the state as the President will most likely witness first hand, the rot at the Port Harcourt international Airport, the ‘neglected’ seaport, and some uncompleted/abandoned Federal Road Projects in the state. He said hopefully, the resident will ensure they are attended to.
Note: This post was edited at 12:40pm after publication to include Governor Wike's comments in the interview with Channels Television.