Wike: The Gunshots Persist, by Odimegwu Onwumere

Your Excellency, The Executive Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike. Greetings, Sir.

I come to you again with a heart full of tears after my earlier open letter to you begging of you to oversee to the motiveless shootings in parts of Rivers State to immobility. Within hours of that letter, the tears of residents have gone up than they were especially in a place like Oyigbo.

We are inundated with information from residents of that area that they doubt if the unjustifiable shootings are really those from the security agents or some external intruders are using the opportunity to cash in and take over Oyigbo.

Many of the residents have fled their homes. Please, for the sympathy of the living, do make peace. This is more than the alleged hoodlums taking over the #EndSARS protest but something is fishing out from the cupboard concerning the fate of Oyigbo in this time of uncertainties.

Rivers residents – whether born natives or visitors – cannot afford to lose any part of Rivers state to any tribe, whose sole aim is to cleanse a people and occupy their ancestral homes. Some information from a place like Rumukwurushi is that there is a particular people who are guarded by those who were supposed to protect all; and the people are hiding under the cover of the protection they enjoy unleashing mayhem on the residents of Rumukwurushi. The same is applicable to Oyigbo.

Sir, you might not notice what is happening across the state at the same time except for such information like this. You have to try to save the state that you love from falling in the hands of a people who never meant well for us. You have to read history from ancient gallery and stop the neo-ethnic cleansing that is well written bold on the wall in guise of #EndSARS protest.

In a plain language, sir, Oyigbo without a doubt has fallen in the hands of wrong people while many still believe that the gunshots were only from the security agents. No. You need to act now else every genuine person living in Oyigbo and some parts of Port Harcourt will wake up from memories’ grave. It would be sacrilegious that we are dead in Rivers state while our homes are taken over by the cold-blooded killers.

In war, it is certain that the end will come but ordinary people are not certain of surviving that long. I am not pointing finger at any person but no man would stand and watch his enemies hide under the cover of security agents to unleash terror for the purpose of either vendetta or land grabbing. And if you don’t act now, parts of Rivers state may be in the hands of the enemies yet we misconstrue the gunshots as those from the ‘genuine’ security agents. Let the year 2020 not be the year we are regressing back to 1700 when lords governed fiefdoms. Someone might not be a robber but if such a person goes to the bank like a robber, he or she would be labeled a robber.

Some persons have dressed like robbers in Rivers state. They don’t care to know that time of acquiring territories by force is gone and we cannot afford to stand on the shadow of the keep. Our state cannot be taken over by force, by any tribe. You need not fold your hands because there will be no excuses and no exceptions should these shootings persist. Watch if the enemies are close, hiding under the #EndSARS brouhaha.

Your Excellency, it would be better that I slap your face with words today in lieu of you waking up tommorrow and notice that your grandparents graves have become home for people who did not buy them from you and who do not mean well to you, either.
There are screams and cry ongoing in a place like Oyigbo. It is not too late to check who are causing the residents of that area to cry. The residents can barely breathe. Don’t allow the door to slam against the wall.

The presence of heavy security men in Oyigbo and in some parts of Rivers state is not a shield. Gunshots are locating the residents more that the presence of the security agents could protect them. This has spurred my suspicion if the town has not fallen in the hands of enemies to kill as many residents as possible while we presume all happening are part of the wave from the #EndSARS uproar oblivious that some people with ulterior motive are bent to take our ancestral land.

The door is open to bring about the needed peace which that part of the state facing heavy presence of gunshots need. How can a people’s right be intruded? The language of gun is not smooth. Let the soldiers not make the residents believe that they are the injured party whereas the residents cannot tell for sure where the sporadic gunshots are coming from and the military Code of Conduct is not observed.

Sane soldiers do not wave unlocked gun recklessly in the midst of civilians. Unguided bullets flying everywhere. Sir, the language of gun is not smooth, not a political agenda. Therefore it is time you introduced and enforced basic human rights this time. Residents cannot afford to walk in their underwear and none knows it were intruders greeting them in the language of gun.

Yes. Oyigbo might not be a city but there are a people who see her as paradise. So, make sure you find out why farmers cannot go to farm because their crops are eaten by human-guided-animals and they are killed if they complain. The same thing is happening to every resident under the #EndSARS hijacked-show-of-shame.

Your Excellency, the grumbling across the state is getting out of hand. Maybe, you have to walk the towns if your security intelligence was not seeing too well. No legitimate child deserves to be called an infidel in his paternal home. The gunshots in Oyigbo are irritating pretense that Rivers state is still in the #EndSARS era. Some people have taken over that era flaunting dangerous folly. I had no difficulty in restraining myself but had to write you in order to stop this stupid importance it has become to a people to desert residents with gunshots at the Haunting Hour which is now their bloody manifesto.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a multiple award-winning journalist based in Rivers state. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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