Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said his government will not undermine any ethnic group resident in the State.
Governor Wike gave the assurance when he played host to leaders of Northern Elders Forum led by its Chairman, Professor Ango Abdullahi at Government House Port Harcourt.
The Governor, who applauded the Northern leaders for the visit to ascertain what actually happened during the End SARS protest, said it was sad that desperate people dubiously made efforts to politicise his handling of the End SARS protest.
According to Wike; “It is not in doubt, we have known our relationship before now with the North. All of us know the relationship between our region and the Northern part of the country.
“The End SARS protest was very peaceful in Rivers State. Oyigbo Local Government is one of the biggest in terms of population in the state. Miscreants woke up one morning because people are doing End SARS protest and began to kill innocent people.
“They burnt down police stations, killed police officers and soldiers and destroyed courts.
“When you say ‘what you’re doing is wrong, we can’t allow it’, they say you’re against a particular ethnic group. How can that be? That action almost led to a big violence between this group and that group. I am the governor of the state, how can I allow my state to be a centre of war? That can’t happen.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi said though they had received complaints from Northerners resident in Rivers State, the forum decided to visit the South to ascertain the facts.
“We had a number of complaints from our kiths and kin on the effect of the End SARS protest in the South but it is our belief that we should always base our actions and decisions on facts that we can rely upon rather than rumours. This country is very good in rumour mongering and fake news.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this perhaps can be explained by history. The greatest history in terms of political relationship between the people of the North and the Southern part of the country can always be found deeply rooted here in the Niger Delta area,” he said.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Ghali Umar Na’Abba; former NRC presidential candidate, Bashir Othman Tofa; Hakeem Baba Ahmed; General Saleh Maina (rtd) among others were part of the delegation.