Buhari To Visit Rivers Today For Ogoni Clean-Up, As Wike Bans Keke & Okada In 2 LGAs

President Muhammadu Buhari will today visit Rivers State to inaugurate the clean-up of the Ogoni land ravaged by oil spill and production degradation.

The clean-up will be inaugurated at Numuu-Tekuru Waterfront in Bodo-Ogoni, Gokana local government in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland’s environmental assessment. It was presented to former President Goodluck Jonathan on August 12, 2011.

Ahead of the visit, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) were yesterday trading accusations over alleged plot to disrupt the president’s visit.

But Governor Nyesom Wike sued for peace, urging the people to give a rousing welcome to “our amiable president.”

In a broadcast, the governor said: “As part of measures to enhance security during Mr. President’s visit, I hereby place a ban on the operations of motorcycles and tricycles in Gokana and Khana LGAs between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, 2nd June 2016. The security agencies have been directed to enforce this ban and ensure full compliance.

“I call on Rivers people, particularly the people of Ogoni land, to come out in great numbers and give our amiable President a rousing welcome during his visit.”

The governor added: “It is historic because it marks his first official visit to the state since assuming office as the President of this great nation. It is most significant because Mr. President is not on a political mission, but to kick-start the largest environmental clean-up in our nation’s history, for which Rivers people, and indeed the Niger Delta, will remain grateful.

“I call on Rivers people to be peaceful, law-abiding and demonstrate the traditional Rivers hospitality towards Mr. President and his distinguished entourage throughout the visit. As I have noted earlier, Mr. President is here as the father of the nation, who cares about the environmental and developmental challenges that we face as one of his primary constituencies.

“Accordingly, his presence in Rivers State is not an occasion for political campaigns by anybody or political party. Rather, it is an occasion and an opportunity for us to demonstrate unity of purpose and our readiness to work together with Mr. President to move Rivers State.

Ogoni leaders were yesterday holding meetings at Korokoro-Tai-Ogoni in Tai local government area, to ensure the success of the visit and for the youths not to allow themselves to be used to disrupt the strategic visit.

Paramount rulers from the four Ogoni local government areas, – Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme – as well as the President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Legborsi Pyagbara; youth leaders, women groups, religious leaders and top politicians, among others, attended the meetings.

Rivers APC, through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, alleged that hoodlums working for the PDP would protest in Ogoni during the president’s visit.

But Special Assistant on Electronic Media to the governor, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, accused the APC leaders in the state of wanting to cause confusion.

Rivers police Spokesman Muhammad Ahmad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), yesterday said: “The Police are fully prepared about the President’s visit in line with our operational order and in conjunction with the military.

“Mr. President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, you must expect the security to be very tight, to avoid any incident. With the deployment of adequate personnel and necessary equipment already done, water-tight security will be provided.”

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