By G9ija

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has declared that Rivers State would contest Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s (NGF) endorsement of fresh withdrawal by the Federal Government from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).

The governor wondered what happened to the $1 billion withdrawn from the ECA in 2017 under the guise that it would be used to fund the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast.

Wike stated this when he played host to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, who was on a courtesy visit to him at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.

He stated that he would not support the plan for a fresh withdrawal except Rivers State is given its 13 per cent share from the account.

“Yesterday, I was told that the governors agreed that they will take money from the ECA to support the military. What of the one they took before, the $1billion that they gave to the military?

“Now again! This one, I will tell my Attorney General; you will have to prepare, we will go to court. I will not support that one except they will give us our 13 percent first from that ECA,” he said.

Wike told the emir how his late father and other leaders worked so hard in promoting love, peace and national unity among Nigerians in their time.

He expressed regret that current political and religious leaders were not building on that but were rather reducing every relationship, appointment, policy and programmes of the government to political and religious considerations.

The governor insisted that Nigeria belongs to everybody, saying no section of the country could assert itself over other.

He added: “It is important that where we are now, everybody, particularly traditional rulers, should know that they have major roles to play in ensuring that peace reigns in this country.

“This is the first time in Nigeria when we have so much ethnic divide, so much religious divide. It has never happened like this before. After the civil war, people had seen Nigeria as one country. We have seen ourselves as the same people but what we are facing today is a different thing.

“We are not even talking about the issue of insecurity, but the issue of ethnicity and religion, which have taken centre stage in our life, which is not supposed to be.”

In his remarks, the emir said his visit to Rivers State was part of his fraternal tour to national leaders and traditional institutions across the country.

He urged the governor and other leaders in the Niger Delta to continue to ensure that the region remains a welcoming environment for all Nigerians to thrive.