A member of the Rivers State Elders and Leaders Forum, David Briggs, has said that contrary to impression that an understanding was reached at the end of the meeting, the president walked in with the controversial peace terms already drafted.
Briggs, who was present during President Bola Tinubu’s intervention in the state’s crisis stated this during an interview with ThisDay.
He said that opinion of Rivers State elders at the meeting was not entertained.
“There will be discussion by both parties and opinions will be sought and resolutions will be reached.
“But the President walked in with a resolution, addressed us and said what he had in his hand was a presidential proclamation, a presidential directive and at the point, he emphasised that he was the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Therefore, we can weep and anybody who tends to say no to what he’s saying, has consequences. That is not democratic. That, in a simple layman’s word, is a threat,” he said.
According to him, Tinubu wrote the resolution and handed it to Peter Odili to read, but interjected him.
“Each time he (Tinubu) interjects, it comes with a polite threat, and a smiling insult. Thereafter, he asked the governor to speak. Let’s get it clear, If you were the governor, what would you do? Get up and say, ‘Mr President, no?’ With that kind of subtle but energetic threat, realising that back home, we are fighting an internal aggression?
“If you are in his position, will you still attract another external fight? The answer is no,” he added, urging Tinubu to uphold the constitution.
“I do know that the president is to protect the constitution of the federal republic and therefore, Nigerians are watching him. Rivers people are watching him whether he is upholding by his pronouncement.
“I am not in a position to say that, but I believe there will be peace in Rivers State and that’s what the governor is saying. But Rivers knows what is best for them.
“The moment you allow the third party to come into their matter and you are unable to establish the intention and interest of the third party, who has come to arbitrate, you are failing.
“And as one of the founding members of PDP in Rivers, we will not allow this thing to come to pass,” he said.