The Federal Government has accused the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, of abusing the privileges of immunity as a public officer.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this yesterday while brief- ing State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister was reacting to an allegation by Wike that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government was plotting to assassinate him.
Mohammed, who debunked the claim by Wike, explained that the Rivers State Governor has the freedom to express his opinion.
He said: “As to the question about the allegation by the governor of Rivers that he has information that he will be assassinated by the Federal Government in a i; I think one of the beauty of being a governor is that you enjoy immunity from prosecution and arrest. Because, I remember a couple of years ago when I made similar allegations, I was invited to Force Headquarters.”
While raising the alarm on the plot to assassinate him, Wike had hinged it on desperate politicians whom he said will stop at nothing to cling onto power.
Wike insisted that the threat to his life was real, as the intelligence report at his disposal was cogent and valid, saying, “It is true that my life is under threat. What I said is true. As a governor, I cannot just wake up and say my life is threatened.”
The governor said his travails started when he uncovered the plot by the police to raid his residence in Abuja with the sinister intent to plant incriminating evidence against him.
In swift reaction to the comments by the Information Minister, Wike accused the Federal Government of caring less for the lives of Nigerians.
The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, said that people are being slaughtered daily across Nigeria because the Federal Government does not care about the protection of lives and property.
Wike said it is unfortunate that the Federal Government will trivialize an issue of this sensitive nature.
The Rivers State Governor said because the Federal Government has relegated the sanctity of human lives, that is why they give conflicting reasons for the security challenges that have led to wanton killings in different parts of the country.
“They don’t care about the issue of the protection of lives and property. That is why people are killed in their numbers every day.
“But I will not be slaughtered easily. They will not succeed in their plot,” Wike said.
The governor expressed shock that rather than say that this weighty intelligence report will be duly investigated, the minister is struggling to trivialize the matter.
Wike said that there are laid down constitutional processes of handling weighty issues of this nature, pointing out that it is unfortunate that the Federal Government has deliberately refused to follow the constitutional path.