President Muhammadu Buhari may be plotting a dangerous game of taking over governments in three key Niger Delta states of Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa, it has been revealed.
The objective, sources said, is to muzzle huge financial resources required in rebuilding the Northern zones ravaged by insurgency and the attendant need to rehabilitate the people in the affected areas.
It is also an exigent step, it was learnt that, in the aftermath of failure by the United States, Britain and other European countries to redeem their respective pledges to release funds to support rebuilding of the ravaged northern states whose economy has collapsed following the devastating activities of the insurgent group, Boko Haram.
Accordingly, President Buhari is said to be seeking alternative sources of funding for the rehabilitation efforts and taking over the three states in the Niger Delta became appealing in what sources said would be “strategic” in terms of the oil wealth and “unfolding tendencies” to have them in the grip of the Federal Government.
A close source confided that the plot to take over the three states was thought to be the most viable option open to the north in rebuilding its ruined economy.
The thinking, it was gathered, was to seize power from the PDP-controlled states in the South-South with the convincing understanding that the combined wealth of Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states will create the desired cash flow in the four years of the Buhari administration to be used to rebuild the terribly battered economy of the north.
The three states are currently under tension occasioned by election disputes.
Both Rivers and Akwa Ibom have already had their respective elections nullified in significant manner as fresh elections will be conducted partially or in whole to determine the status of government in the two states while that of Delta is held in abeyance.
Sources reliably informed that plans had been perfected to also rig the elections in Bayelsa State in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with firm commitments allegedly extracted from the governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, to surrender forty per cent of its monthly Federal allocations within the fixed limit of financial mopping.
“This explains why the Presidency is hell bent on fielding Timipre Sylva for the governorship election despite his standing trial for corruption at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as well as the various extra-judicial killings charges against him as sued by the affected people in the state”, a leader of an Ijaw rights group said.
A source also hinted that the choice of Sylva was appealing to the powers that be given his contributions in attempts to perpetuate the late President Musa Yar’Adua in office even when it was obvious he was bed ridden in Saudi Arabia.
The source claimed that Sylva actually donated billions of naira to efforts contrived by some power mongers then to stop former President Goodluck Jonathan from being sworn in as president.
In the case of Rivers, the source further informed, that the plot was to sack the troubled governor Nyesom Wike and install his opponent in the last election, Dakuku Peterside, through what was said to be the ‘instrumentality of the court”.
Already, the court had ruled that the last election in Rivers State was invalid and a new election would be conducted.
It was reliably gathered that the former governor of the state, now awaiting minister in the Buhari administration, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, had also committed himself to trade off a significant percentage of the state’s monthly Federal allocation over a promised vice presidential slot in 2019.
A similar arrangement was also said to have been sealed for Akwa Ibom state.
Meanwhile, aware of the development, a group of ex-militants and several youth associations in the South-South were said to be gearing up to return to the creeks.
They were reliably quoted to have indicated that in the face of the development, they would be ready to defend their God-given resources with last pint of blood in them.
“We will resist every move by Buhari and APC-led government to deprive us of our God-given resources. Was that why they killed Alameyeseigha and witch-hunting all our Ijaw leaders? We will certainly resist them with every blood flowing in our vein.
“To all our Ijaw brothers hobnobbing with the APC, we are calling on them to retrace their steps. We Ijaws must unite and come together to fight against this injustice. It is a deadly plot calculated to take our inheritance”, convener and leader of one of the groups, George Magbisa, stated.