Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has insisted on the preservation of national unity, stating Nigeria must be protected against all forms of secessionist agitations.
Wike also urged the new Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, not to allow his officers get involved in partisan politics.
The Governor spoke when he hosted the Chief of Army Staff on a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The Governor restated his belief in the unity of Nigeria, saying “God, who has put the different people together, cannot be making a mistake”.
He said: “There must be differences. There must be anger. It is for us to sit down to discuss it. I have said generally that I am not against anybody agitating for whatever you want to agitate. My take is that you cannot be violent.
“So if anybody says they’re agitating, I have no problem. But don’t agitate to say I’m part of you. No, don’t do that. I am the Governor of Rivers State, with all due respect.
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“I must make sure the territory called Rivers State must not be taken away by anybody or group of people. It is my responsibility to protect it.
“I believe in the unity of this country. I believe that God did not make mistake to say there should be a country called Nigeria.”
Wike said the fight against insecurity had suffered a setback because army officers became partisan and could not stand on the side of professional practice.
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The Governor said his administration was always willing and ready to work with all the security agencies in the fight against criminality in Rivers.
Wike pointed out banditry, kidnapping and agitations were different dimensions of crimes that had put Nigeria in dire situation.
The Governor commended the new chief of army staff for the proactive measures taken since he assumed duties to address the threats that had challenged the sovereignty of the country.
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He noted the challenges would be enormous but if the current tempo was sustained and improved upon, the desired success would be achieved.
Yahaya said he was in Port Harcourt on an operation visit to 6 Division of the Nigerian Army.
He said he would also officially open the Combat Support Training Week and invited the Governor to be their Special Guest of Honour.