Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Friday accused Major General Jamil Sarham, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, of an attempt to assassinate him on Thursday night.
He alleged that the army general had been engaging in “very unprofessional measures to silence the PDP members.”
Wike further alleged that the military was supplying fake uniforms to militants hired by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the purpose of disrupting today’s elections.
The governor issued the statement after meeting with officials of the British High Commission at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
“Last night, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, plotted an assassination on my life. Thank God, that was not successful.
“On Friday, 15th of January, a day to the 16th of February, the first date for the elections before it was rescheduled, the GOC sent soldiers to cordon off my private residence.
“Yesterday, I was shocked that when I left the Government House to see some political leaders, soldiers were trailing me. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have military security details.
“Along Abacha Road where you have Algate Hotel, to my surprise, I heard my security men shouting that the soldiers are behind us. I have said this several times about the GOC of the 6 Division that nobody should kill because he was promised the position of Chief of Army Staff.”
The governor said that the GOC could become the Chief of Army Staff without killing anyone, adding that there was no need to kill innocent people for personal gain.
He further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the Army to reduce their level of partisanship ahead of the elections.
“Rivers State is so important to this country. The economy of Nigeria cannot survive without Rivers State. By what they are doing, they are scaring investors away.”
“The GOC held a meeting with the soldiers yesterday (Thursday) and said they must do everything they can to ensure that the President wins. That is not good. Allow Nigerians to support whoever they want to support,” he said.
In its reaction, the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army vehemently denied Wike’s claim.
The division in a statement through its Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, noted that the army would not take issues with any politician, but the utterance of the governor had compelled it to warn mischief makers to stay away from the Nigerian Army.
“It is clear that the political atmosphere in our country has reached its crescendo with political actors outwit ting each other. However, most worrisome is the activities of some politicians who find pleasure in maligning the Nigerian Army.
“In the light of irresponsible utterances, through politically motivated allegations against the Division in the last one week, the Division is compelled to warn mischief makers to stay clear of the Nigerian Army.”