Ex-militant leader and Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, Ateke Tom, has warned against inputting ethnic colouration in the dispute between the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Ateke Tom appealed to all stakeholders to apply caution in their reactions, insisting that the face-off was between a father and his political godson.
He called on Rivers’ elders and royal fathers to urgently unite and mediate between the warring factions to prevent further escalation of the issues.
The monarch in a statement issued to DAILY POST in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, insisted that no one should twist the issues and try to make political gains out of the development.
He said: “I strongly urge for peace and reconciliation in the light of the strained relationship between these two leaders.
It is essential that we do not give an ethnic dimension to this issue. This dispute should not be exploited for political gain”.
He recalled that Wike, who is the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and hails from the Ikwerre ethnic nationality, was instrumental in making Fubara from the riverine area of the state a governor.
He condemned the ongoing plot to destabilise the state by reading ethnic motives into the crisis, adding that the impasse would not benefit anybody.
While faulting the move to impeach Fubara after less than six months in office, Ateke Tom said such development was not in the interest of the state.
He said: “I have observed with deep concern the ongoing situation in Rivers State. Our beloved Rivers State is currently facing a challenging situation between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor, Nysemo Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“The current crisis must be resolved swiftly for the benefit of our state and its people. We should continue the path of development and peace established by the previous administration, which the current government is also following.
“I condemn the attempted impeachment of Governor Siminalayi Fubara within only six months of his administration. This is not in the best interest of our state.
“I call on law enforcement agencies to remain loyal to the people and not be swayed by political actors. The use of water cannons and teargas on the Rivers State Governor is unacceptable.
“I hope for a return to normalcy in our government and legislative processes, which will benefit our citizens and business community.
“I appeal to all the people of Rivers State, including political actors, Royal fathers, and the youth, to come together and prioritize peace, unity, and dialogue.
”Our state’s future depends on our collective efforts”.
Rivers Crisis: Ateke Tom warns against ethnic sentiments in dispute between Wike, Fubara