PRESS STATEMENT ON DISCOVERIES AND ARRESTS MADE BY TROOPS OF 6 DIVISION NIGERIAN ARMY IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER SECURITY AGENCIES FOR ELECTORAL OFFENCES BETWEEN 22 – 23 FEBRUARY 2019
(It) is my pleasure to welcome you to Headquarters 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) and also to inform you of the modest achievements of troops of 6 Division NA in close collaboration and synergy with all other security agencies in the Division’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) which covers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States.
The period leading to the 23 February 2019 Presidential and National Assembly Elections witnessed a lot of political activities and manoeuvres by political actors which is normal in a democracy, however, most worrisome and dangerous is the employment of political thugs by some desperate politicians to disrupt a legitimate national process for their pecuniary gains.
Equally of grave concern is the daring attempt by the Governor of Rivers State Barr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to compromise security agencies particularly troops of 6 Division NA with hefty financial inducements to help him in his illegitimate act of thwarting a free and fair electoral process to his favour while accusing the NA and its command hierarchy of bias daily. Apparently, Governor Wike must have underestimated the NA’s commitment to being professionally responsive in the discharge of our constitutional roles.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai (has) over time reiterated and demonstrated the NA’s resolve to being apolitical, neutral and unbiased. He has also left no one in doubt of our total and absolute loyalty to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, no amount of cheap blackmail and unsubstantiated allegations will make us (budge).
While we do not intend to join issues with any one, however, it has become expedient to bring to the notice of the general public the actual reasons behind Governor Wike’s attrition against the NA and its leadership with the hope that he will finally sheath his sword and (publicly), apologise to the NA as we present to you the following shocking discoveries.
Gentlemen of the press, you recall that on Saturday 15th February 2019 the eve of the now rescheduled Presidential and NASS elections, one Barr Emma Okah issued a statement alleging that a very senior officer of this command of attempting to tamper with INEC sensitive materials at the CBN Port Harcourt premises. A rejoinder was immediately issued by HQ 6 Division which not only rebutted the allegation but also demanded an apology from Emma Okah within 72 hours or face legal action. As at this moment, Emma Okah has arrogantly refused to heed the advice.
Ironically, on Saturday 23rd February 2019 at about 8:45 am following a tip (off) on attempt by Governor Wike’s (aides) to induce and compromise troops deployed at the CBN Port Harcourt premises, own personnel Maj AP Ubah and 3 other Police personnels, DSP Oyoku Ifelle (Camp Comdt Rivers State Govt House), Sgt Akanu Garba, Inspector Hycent Oboi and Sgt Nketan Chucks were arrested by a team from HQ 6 Div.. Preliminary investigations discovered the sum of Two Million, Two Hundred and Fifty thousand Naira (N2,250,000.00) only in a Range Rover belonging to the DSP. Other items recovered are 4 INEC 2019 Electoral Tags, Customised Rivers State Government House brown envelopes while the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (500,000.00) only was found in the Toyota vehicle belonging to Maj AP Ubah which he confessed was given to him by the Governor’s (aides) in addition to offer of a well-furnished accommodation for the period of his tour of duty.
Similarly, same day Saturday 23rd February 2019 at about 7:00 am, a member of Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Opokri Wanaka in company of Dr Reason Onya Williams, Rivers State Commissioner for Urban Development visited own troops Camp at Akinima and requested to be acquainted with the Commander of the troops at the location. Hon Opokri offered the Officer some amount of money he removed from his pocket but the officer not only rejected the offer but sent the duo away.
Incidentally, while the Officer and his men were manning a Check Point at Mbiama Bridge, a white Hilux vehicle with a Rivers State Government Reg No.L02-03RV RIVERS and 8 occupants was stopped for routine search and clearance. A carton and 2 bundles of INEC 2019 presidential Election ballot papers were discovered in the vehicle. Preliminary investigation reveals that none of the occupants of the vehicle is an INEC staff, INEC Ad-hoc staff or security agent.
During the course of on the spot interrogations, Hon Opokri Wanaka and Dr Reason Onya Williams earlier mentioned above appeared at the spot and tried to convince the suspecting troops that the vehicle is part of INEC convoy that was left behind and that the vehicle should be allowed to go because the electorates are waiting. When the vigilant officer refused to be convinced, Dr Reason immediately placed a call to Governor Wike and His Excellency requested to speak with the officer who declined and requested the Governor to please call the GOC. After much resistance, the officer gave Dr Reason his number to pass to Governor Wike which he did via Whatsapp message. Within 10 minutes Governor Wike placed a call to the officer.