The Mob At PH Airport

by Odimegwu Onwumere

A lot has been happening lately in Rivers State: From pro-Governor Chibuike
Amaechi protesters to anti-Amaechi protesters and the fight at the House of
Assembly. Many individuals and groups have added their voices on the
crises. Many have sued for peace, more wars, transparency, equity,
democratic norms, abhorrence of brickbats, bickering, tinkering, and every
quagmires that have been rocking the state.

It is, however, dishonorable that some persons have thrown hospitality
known of the residents of Rivers State to the winds on Tuesday 16 2013, and
molested some governors, who were on a unity visit and in a tribute to Gov.
Amaechi, over the incessant man-made chaos in the state. Such arrogant move
by the scoundrels is condemnable, un-called for, undemocratic, foolery.

The act was morbid and revealed how immature some persons are in handling
their differences with their political rivals. The people who went to the
airport to abuse the governors have shown how desperate they were in making
sure that the already battered image of the country was not redeemed before
the comity of nations. These persons might think that they wanted to spoil
the image of the state, but have further succeeded in bringing Nigeria to

It was reprehensible why the police, according to accounts, were
unresponsive and refused to dismiss the crowd of the alleged troublemakers
who had gathered at the airport to assault the governors of Adamawa,
Jigawa, Kano and Niger who visited the Rivers State Governor and Chairman
of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Amaechi. The meaning of the tactless
statement that was credited to the Police Commissioner in the state, Mbu
Joseph Mbu and his men, who ought to have acted to protect the safety of
these governors at the airport, but, rather, resorted to saying, “the
airport is a public place for everyone to visit”, can’t be found in any

It has become obvious that the presidency might not be unconnected with
these troubles in Rivers State. An archetypal of this was reportedly in a
statement issued by Ibim Semenitari, Rivers State Commissioner of
Information and Communications thus: “There were jitters in the presidency
over the visit of governors of Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger to Rivers
State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon
Chibuike Amaechi in Port Harcourt, today Tuesday 16, 2013. Members of the
Nyesom Wike’s campaign organisation Grassroot Democratic Initiative GDI,
had mobilised hoodlums to disrupt the visit…”

If the story making the rounds is true that a four litre cask suspected to
contain some acid was found beside the mob, there is no gainsaying the fact
that the mob was very careless. Persons like Wike should be admonished to
remember how the state was once ransacked by hoodlums and, whether he wants
the state to retrogress to that era of absurdity, because of political

It is unfortunate that Mbu was credited to have denied knowledge of the mob
being-there at the airport, even though the police conditioned that the
airport is a civic place and everyone has a right to visit without
restraint and unconstrained, it could be blubbered that not even a peaceful
protest should have been meted out to the governors, who were themselves
peaceful. Now, what would be the fate of Wike to the states of these
governors that his group were said to have molested, should he one day
venture into any of them, as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

Governor Amaechi should be acclaimed (as news reports has it that he had
arrived earlier in the morning of that day to wait for his guests) for
showing exceptional adulthood. If pro-Amaechi group had mobilised against
this show of shame, the news would have been different today; the
consequentiality would have been either bloodbaths or something very awful
than we have experienced.

In a press statement released by the governors shortly after their meeting
with Gov. Amaechi and after visiting some perceived developmental strides
of the governor, every resident of Rivers State should send his or her
lamentation to the governors that there was nothing wrong with their visit
to Gov. Amaechi, at least, for being their chairman in the NGF. The
governors should be applauded for embracing the spirit of communalism and
showing same, which is a potent part of democracy. Therefore, they should
also be asked not to see the residents as being hostile, but should see the
act of insensitivity as the handiwork of gangsters, who have refused to
change and embrace positivity.

Those fomenting troubles in the state should change their ways and hug

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