The Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has wept over bandits attacks in Sokoto State, commiserating with the government and the Sultan for the unwarranted killing of innocent citizens.
Wike condemned the recent spate of killings in Sokoto, saying that the government and people of Rivers State consider the dastardly activities of rampaging bandits as barbaric.
The governor according to a statement in Port Harcourt by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, spoke when he and the Sokoto State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal paid a courtesy call on His eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto in his palace over the weekend.
Wike expressed dismay over the wanton killing of innocent citizens by bandits in Sokoto and other parts of the country.
He said: “We have had a long-standing relationship and so the people of Rivers State have told me to commiserate with you and the people of Sokoto State. I’m sorry for what happened and we believe God will give the families that have lost their loved ones the courage, give them the strength to bear this unnecessary loss of lives.”
The governor, who was accompanied by a delegation of Rivers’ elders, also thanked the Sultan for the role he has been playing to ensure the stability of the country
“You’ve been trying to stabilize all the religious groups, all the ethnic groups, to understand we have no other country than our country call Nigeria. You have always spoken out irrespective of whether he touches on Moslems, whether it touches on Christians, on whether it touches on those who don’t have religion.
“You’ve always spoken out and you have admonished government where necessary in terms of insecurity, in terms of other crisis, in terms of poverty. You have always spoken out and to advise the government on the best way to try and see that things get better for the citizens of the country,” he said.
The governor said it takes somebody who has passion and undying love for the country to play the kind of role the Sultan has been playing to ensure stability and unity of the nation
The governor said: “This character in you is rare. If all leaders can exhibit this kind of trait, then we will have a future, then we can know that our country is going somewhere. You’re exhibiting the character that is expected of leadership.
“You have had sleepless nights talking to Christians, talking to Moslems, talking to the North, talking to the South, talking to everybody to see ourselves as one Nigeria.”
However, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, in his response thanked Governor Wike and the Rivers’ delegation for the brotherly visit, blaming lack of love for the prevalence of killings, confusion, and acrimonious relationship in Nigeria.
He said: “If there is love, all the acrimonious we hear, all the confusion all over the place, the killings won’t have taken place. People kill without any motive. Bloodthirsty people kill anyhow because there is no love, and there is no godliness.”
“Whatever we have done, it is what our forefathers and religion ordered us to do, and we will do more to strengthen our relationship so that we can have a peaceful society.
“So that we can have a country that we can be proud of and say yes, this is the Nigeria that we dream of. Not the Nigeria that we hear the sad news of killing innocent people, unnecessary shedding of blood.”