A prominent traditional ruler in Rivers State, King Ateke Micheal Tom, has called for the intervention of royal fathers and elders in the state in the ongoing face-off between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
This is as he warned those fanning embers of ethnicity into the face-off, declaring that the development was between a political father and his political son.
Ateke, who is the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, in a statement made available to journalists in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, said the coming together as a collective force to mediate between the warring factions would prevent further escalation of the crisis.
While calling for peace and reconciliation amid a tumultuous relationship between Fubara and Wike, the traditional ruler warned: “No one should give any ethnic colouration and dimensions to the issues. Nyesom Wike, an Ikwere man was instrumental to the emergence of Governor Fubara, a riverine man against all odds. As such, people should not use this minor dispute to instigate ethnic sentiments for their political gains.”
He stated that there was an urgent need to put an end to the ongoing crisis, pointing out that such turmoil would bring no benefit to the state or its people.
Ateke said: “There is need to sustain the development stride and peace by the previous administration which the current administration was part of and which we hopeful will be improve on.
“People should not turn the current unfortunate event into a political gain because Rivers State recorded peace and progress under Ex-Governor Nyesom Wike, which has been sustained and shown signs greater prospects of progress and peace under Governor Fubara.
“As a royal father, I advise both sides to maintain restrain and allow wisdom to prevail in these circumstances. Fubara is a governor to all and not a section? so it not proper to whip ethnic sentiments over temporary misunderstandings involving two leaders who have had a long history together.”