The Rivers State Government on Wednesday said it uncovered plots by some disgruntled elements to impose an emergency rule on the state.
The government said some citizens of the state residing in Abuja were planning to cause a breakdown of law and order in the state to force the declaration of a state of emergency.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, in a statement, said such persons started making such attempts from 2015.
But he said hatchers of the evil plot continued to fail following God’s intervention”.
“They did everything within their powers to ensure that the 2019 Governorship Election results were not announced but also failed.
“As the build-up for the 2023 elections and jostle for Presidential and Vice-Presidential tickets is gathering momentum, they want to use COVID-19 to create a crisis as if the State is at war with the Federal Government.
“They have decided to create unnecessary tension as if indigenes of Ahoada, Eleme and Port Harcourt are fighting with Northerners not to carry out their legitimate businesses”, Nsirim said.
Nsirim wondered why people forgot history quickly recalling that herdsmen clashes had been a common narrative in the northern part of the country.
He said: “Since 2015, there have been farmers/herdsmen clashes in Nasarrawa, Plateau, Taraba, Ebonyi, Cross River, Kaduna, Yobe and Bornu States.
“Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, States like Enugu, Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Edo and Kaduna States have been intercepting lorries carrying human beings instead of foodstuffs.
“This is the same thing that the Rivers State Government is doing to protect the State from COVID-19.
“Bandits have been killing innocent people in Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna States and indigenes of these States, no matter their political differences, are working together to protect their States.
“But here in Rivers State, instead of supporting our efforts, these Abuja politicians are busy looking for the State of Emergency because they want to acquire power.
“We are alarmed at these hideous plots against our state. Rivers State has never fought a war with strangers or neighbours.
“Our fight against COVID-19 is to protect the lives of everyone living and doing business in the State. We are aware that some shameless politicians are playing politics with COVID-19.
“No wonder one of the respected chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had to expose their plan to use COVID-19 to launch into the politics of the State.
“This is what we see in the lives of ungodly, dangerous and power-hungry people who claim to love the State.
“After their clandestine meetings, they have voted huge sums of money to entice and recruit gullible persons to carry out their plan”.
He called on all patriotic Rivers indigenes to be at alert “to resist the devilish plans of unpatriotic elements conniving with enemies of the state to cause confusion”.
“As a state, we have always defeated these sadists, and with God on our side, we shall overcome them”, he said.