2023: Wike Gets 48hrs To Release Ex-Militant Running For Rivers Governorship
Governor Nyesom Wike has been issued a 48-hour ultimatum to order the release of a Niger Delta militant-turned-politician who was arrested by the Rivers State police command on Thursday.
Farah Dagogo, the federal lawmaker representing Degema/Bonny in the House of Representatives, was reportedly arrested on Governor Wike’s order for allegedly disrupting the screening of governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Port Harcourt.
Dagogo was said to have been arrested alongside others and ordered to be remanded at the Port Harcourt correctional center by a magistrate’s court in the state.
The lawmaker is one of the beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s amnesty granted to militants in the Niger Delta some years back.
Governor Wike had earlier declared the lawmaker wanted “for hiring cultists to attack the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Port Harcourt”.
In a statement by his media aide, Kevin Ebiri, the governor had said “the police must as a matter of urgency arrest Farah Dagogo, wherever he is and must face the full wrath of the law”.
But reacting in a statement made available to THE WHISTLER by his media office on Friday, Dakuku Peterside, an All Progressives Congress governorship aspirant called for “the immediate and unconditional release” of Dagogo.
Peterside, who is the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said the lawmaker’s arrest has no locus standi in any known Nigerian Law or statute, including the Miscellaneous Offences Act.
He described Governor as “a neo-fascist and dictator desperate to gag free speech and democratic rights of Rivers citizens.”
The statement reads: “He challenged the governor to justify his reasons for the arrest of the lawmaker other than his quest to remain a political alpha and omega who would not brood any fair contest. While insisting that the police also erred in executing the arrest without a known court warrant of arrest, Peterside vowed that Rivers State would not allow Wike to prosper in his quest to turn the state into an Italy of Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler’s Germany where fascism held sway until the world rallied democracy against them.
“Rivers State cannot become an Italy of Benito Mussolini, or Adolf Hitler’s Germany where fascism and dictatorship contracted an evil marriage of convenience that bestrode and muzzled free speech and fundamental rights of citizens. What Wike is working at is to annex every independent mind and cow every Rivers citizen into sheepish acquiescence. But what he plays ignorant of is that from the times of Dappa Biriye, Melford Okilo, Obi Wali, TImothy Birabi, all nationalists and Democrats, Rivers had never suffered fools to muzzle them. So, we shall keep to that historic attitude and would never surrender to Wike and his goons.”
“Peterside queried Gov. Wike on how he obtained evidence linking the lawmaker to an alleged disruption of proceedings at the Rivers State Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“Wike had lied at several times such that these days his claims must be subjected to forensic investigation before believed. So, Rivers people need to know how he proved Dagogo’s link to whatever happened at their party Secretariat”, he added.
“While calling on lovers of democracy and free speech to condemn Wike and his fascist style of governance, Peterside reiterated his 48-hour ultimatum to Gov. Wike to order the release of the detained lawmaker.
“Wike has 48 hours to ensure that Honourable Farah is set free and allowed to continue to pursue his political aspiration. Nothing short of that shall avail. Wike cannot be junketing in pursuit of his presidential ambition using Rivers State resources while wickedly gagging another’s on the altar of ego. He must let Dagogo go.”