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Farah Dagogo: “Thunder Fire You And Ultimatum” – Wike Tells Ijaw Groups In Church

"Instead of you coming to the government [asking] what is the problem, what happened, you begin to threaten the government, ultimatum. Thunder fire you and ultimatum."

Rivers State Governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday rained curses on members of two Ijaw groups demanding the release of a federal lawmaker currently detained on the orders of the governor.

Farah Dagogo, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency of Rivers State, has been in police custody for a couple of weeks.

He was declared wanted by Mr Wike for allegedly hiring thugs to attack the PDP secretariat in Rivers State.

Mr Dagogo, a governorship aspirant, however, refuted the allegation and accused the governor of trying to prevent him from appearing before the party’s gubernatorial screening panel.

The lawmaker was eventually arrested by the Rivers State Police Command the next day after appearing before the panel for screening and was reportedly arraigned before a court in the state where he was remanded in a Correctional Centre

The Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC0) and Ijaw National Congress (INC) have demanded the lawmaker’s immediate release.

The two groups gave the governor 48 hours to release him.

However, at a church service on Sunday, Mr Wike lashed out at the groups for giving him an ultimatum to set Mr Dagogo free.

Addressing the congregation at a thanksgiving service on Sunday held at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Port Harcourt to celebrate the legal victory secured at the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the oil well dispute between Rivers and Imo States, Mr Wike, who standing at the altar, invoked thunder to descend on members of the groups.

“That takes us to where some people say we are Ijaw Youth Congress, we are Ijaw National Congress threatening the government; you are wasting your time.

“I don’t know why people don’t even know who they are dealing with, me, me, threatening me, 48 hours,” he said, beating his chest with his left hand, apparently to express his anger.

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“Instead of you coming to the government [asking] what is the problem, what happened, you begin to threaten the government, ultimatum. Thunder fire you and ultimatum,” Mr Wike, clad in white and standing on the podium, could be heard saying in a video.

In the short video with Channels Television’s trademark posted on Twitter, some congregants could be heard chorusing the Hebrew word – “Amen,” to confirm Mr Wike’s prayers, while the faces of others are ridden with utter shock and consternation.

The IYC, in its reaction, condemned Mr Wike’s outburst, saying it was not only derogatory but inciting.

The spokesperson of IYC, Ebilade Ekerete, in a statement posted on Facebook, said, such “unguarded and incendiary” comments from Mr Wike is capable of souring the existing good relationship between the group and Ikwere (Wike’s ethnic group) and urged the governor’s kinsmen to call him to order.

The group advised Ijaws who are delegates in the PDP presidential primaries not to vote for Mr Wike, stating that such action “will be viewed as a betrayal of our heritage.”

“The body regrets that even more shocking is the fact that the Rivers Governor took his unrestrained verbiage to the hallowed pulpit of a church and desecrated the altar of God.

“It equally points out that Governor Wike has forgotten that by calling fire and thunder on the Ijaw nation, his benefactor and our revered leader, former President Goodluck Jonathan, is an illustrious Ijaw son.

“This “thunder” did not fire the former president when, despite all odds, he made him the choice of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State against the wishes of other competent Ijaw aspirants in the state.

“Now, Jonathan as an Ijaw man is also under fire from Governor Wike. For him, all those that made him, including the people of Rivers State, are in his pocket and can be insulted at will.

“We, therefore, call on our people as a whole to see Governor Wike as an enemy of the Ijaw Nation. We urge Ijaws all over the world to speak against this tyrannical behaviour of Wike,” the statement said.

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