Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on youths, chiefs and stakeholders in the state to remain peaceful as President Muhammadu Buhari visits the state on Thursday (today) to begin the clean-up of Ogoniland.
Wike, who spoke on Wednesday in Port Harcourt in a state-wide broadcast appealed to the people of the state to remain peaceful during President Buhari’s visit.
The governor urged the people of Ogoni to be law abiding, adding that peace was needed for the successful commencement of the Ogoni clean-up report.
He enjoined politicians in the state not to politicise the visit stressing that the clean up exercise should be a demonstration of unity across the party lines.
Wike also encouraged politicians to shun unguarded utterances on the state of the nation’s economy and the visit of the President in order to avert political rivalry during the visit.
He said, “…I call on Rivers people to be peaceful, law-abiding and demonstrate the traditional Rivers hospitality towards Mr. President and his distinguished entourage throughout the visit.
“As I have noted earlier, Mr. President is here as the father of the nation who cares about the environmental and developmental challenges that we face as one of his primary constituencies.
“Accordingly, his presence in Rivers State is not an occasion for political campaigns by anybody or political party. Rather, it is an occasion and an opportunity for us to demonstrate unity of purpose and our readiness to work together with Mr. President to move Rivers State and the nation forward.
“Let me therefore advise desperate politicians in our midst to be mindful of the charged social and economic situation in the country and refrain from making unguarded statements over Mr. President’s visit that could inflame political rivalry and precipitate unnecessary upheavals in the state.
“Rivers State has been peaceful and must remain so during and after Mr. President’s visit. The security agencies have accordingly been directed to arrest and prosecute any person, no matter his or her position, who attempts to exploit Mr. President’s visit for extraneous purposes that undermine the prevailing peace and security in Rivers State.”
Wike, who was optimistic of the security situation in the state, banned the operations of motorcycles and tricycles in Gokana and Khana Local Government Areas between 6a.m and 6p.m on Thursday.