…accuse Wike of fomenting crisis in the state
Youths belonging to the sociocultural group Ekpeye Ethnic Nation have absolved the Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Governor, Edison Ehie, of any participation in the killing of SP Bako Angbashim, a Divisional Police Officer in Ahoada, and the burning of the state House of Assembly complex.
It would be recalled that a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant against Ehie over his alleged involvement in an explosion that rocked the Rivers Assembly complex amid moves by some lawmakers to impeach Governor Siminalayi Fubara on October 30, 2023.
But in reaction to the court ruling, the group described the allegations against Ehie as baseless and merely a plot by the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike to scuttle his political career.
The group’s convener, Apostle Jonathan Solomon, claimed at a press conference over the weekend that Nyesom Wike was the driving force behind the harassment of Rt Hon Edison Ehie and the arrest and detention of some Ekpeye youths in Abuja, calling it a complete disregard for the Ekpeye nation and the Rivers peace accord.
According to Solomon, the group was aware that Wike’s camp was clearly behind the harassment, as evidenced by the multiple threats he made in public claiming that he and Rt. Hon. Edison Ehie are at odds.
He said, “This briefing is premeditated on the lingering accusations, threats, intimidation, and harassment of a full blooded Ekpeye son, Rt. Hon Edison Ogerenye Ehie DSSRS, PhD, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt and some youths who are loyal to him. We are not oblivious of the fact that this harassment is obviously coming from the stable of the FCT Minister, Chief Barr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, having issued several threats in public places that he has a running battle with our son, the Rt. Hon Edison Ehie.
“We consider the consistent harassment of Rt Hon Edison Ehie and the flagrant arrest and detention of some Ekpeye youths in Abuja as instigated by Nyesom Wike as the latter’s total disregard for the Ekpeye nation. It is on the foregoing that we state as follows:
“That the allegation on RT Hon Edison Ehie and his loyalists as being the killers of late Divisional Police Officer in Ahoada, Late SP Bako Angbashim is baseless and politically motivated considering the fact that killers of Bako have publicly testified to being guilty of the crime through viral videos and interrogations by Nigeria police. One would expect the Nigerian Police to intensify efforts in apprehending the other culprits that have been at large rather than dissipate energy in accusing a young man like Rt Hon Edison Ehie who is going about his political career diligently.
“Late SP Bako was murdered in September 8, 2023. Investigations have been intense since then and all the suspects have been arrested and detained. Some have even been granted bail. In all of these, neither Edison nor any of his loyalists was accused, arrested nor detained in connection with Bako’s death. The call for his arrest only came from the moment he stood against the plot to impeach the executive Governor of Rivers State, Sir Sim Fubara, GSSRS.
“Rt. Hon Edison Ehie is a distinguished High Chief in Ekpeye lane with a noble title as the Eze Ugboji Ekpeye (The King of the Youths). This revered title prohibits him from being associated with antisocial and criminal activities such as contemplating to burn down the Rivers such as contemplating to burn down the Rivers State Assembly Complex. The accusation that he masterminded the burning down of the Assembly is not only a malicious accusation but also a political gimmick by his political enemies to demonize, criminalize, incarcerate him. We the Ekpeye Ethnic Nation shall resist this at all cost.
“We consider all these accusations on Rt. Hon Edison Ehie and the arrest and detention of his loyalists who are also Ekpeye sons as a deliberate attempt by the FCT Minister to undermine the sociopolitical relevance of the Ekpeye Ethnic Nation in the politics of Rivers State.
“The Ekpeye Ethnic Nation Is hereby stating without restraints that we can no longer fold out arms and watch the FCT Minister, harass, intimidate, witch-hunt Ekpeye sons especially the Rt Hon Edison Ehie all in the name of proving his political weight in Rivers State. Any harassment or intimidation of Edison and his loyalists amounts to intimidation of the Ekpeye nation.
“We also consider the recent call for the arrest of Rt Hon Edison Ehie and his supporters by the Nigeria Police as a ploy to create unrest in Rivers State as we the Ekpeye Ethnic Nation will stop at nothing to protect Ekpeye sons.
“We want to also use this medium to thank the executive governor, His Excellency Sir Amaopusenibo Siminalayi Fubara GSSRS, for appointing the Rt Hon Edison Ehie as the Chief of Staff, Government House, Rivers State. We want to assure the Governor that Ekpeye people are solidly behind him and shall continue to be firm in our support for him.”