Two major political parties in Rivers State, the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress, are currently at loggerheads over the renewed cult activities and militancy in Ogoni land.
While the state PDP is accusing APC politicians of being behind the renewed cult activities, the main opposition party in the state is saying that PDP-led government should be blamed for the eruption of violence caused by cultists in Ogoni land.
The increase in the cases of cult activities in Khana and Gokana local government areas of Rivers State had caused the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to declare a fresh amnesty programme in the state.
Speaking through a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday, the State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Felix Obuah, said, “There would not have been any need for the special amnesty programme and the huge resources required if the opposition politicians had not politicised the (amnesty) programme.
“It was the same cultists used by the opposition to rig the December 10, legislative rerun election in Ogoni that have continued to disturb the peace of the land,” Obuah, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Jerry Needam, said.
Obuah, however, hailed Wike’s decision to package a special amnesty programme to contain renewed cult activities and militancy in the Ogoni area of the state, describing it as a welcome development.
He pointed out that giving the cultists in Ogoniland a second chance to surrender their weapons and embrace the new amnesty programme was commendable, adding that the governor had continued to show that he meant well for Rivers people.
“The governor’s kind gesture in declaring a fresh amnesty programme in Ogoni is the hallmark of good governance and sincere leadership,” Obuah added.
But the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, disagreed with the state PDP chairman that opposition politicians were responsible for the resurgence of cultism and militancy in Ogoniland.
Finebone, who spoke with our correspondent in a telephone interview, said, “The allegation from the state PDP is false; the allegation falls short of any credibility and it is not anything we should waste our time reacting to.
He described the amnesty programme as a smokescreen created to legitimise the activities of armed youths to cause election violence