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How citizens’ resilience helped us to stay in office, by Wike, Tambuwal


National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Uche Secondus (left); Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed; his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and wife, Eberechi during the New Year’s banquet at Government House, Port Harcourt…yesterday.

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, have attributed their reelection to the resilience of their people against every attempt to rig the 2019 governorship polls.

They stated this at the 2020 Rivers State New Year banquet at Government House Port Harcourt when they evoked their reelection challenges in the face of aggressive federal might and security apparatuses.

Wike narrated that the state passed through political challenges in 2019, particularly during the governorship election, but Rivers people stood up to defend their mandate.

“Rivers people stood up and said they would not allow darkness to overcome light. We couldn’t have succeeded without the support of the people, the legislature and the judiciary,” he said.

Wike assured that he would always promote the interest of Rivers State, as he was not ready to mortgage the state’s future on any account, adding that his administration would continue to develop all parts of the state.

“When your conscience is clear and you are convinced that you are doing the right thing, just go ahead. I have no grudge against any local government area. Every council area supported me. All those carrying ethnic wars cannot succeed.

“I was not elected on the strength of ethnicity. As governor of Rivers State, I will show our people that we have the capacity and that we can work for them,” he said.

The governor said contrary to claims by some opposition politicians, he has deliberately invested in the empowerment of Rivers people, but regretted that most people have mismanaged state empowerment funds.

He explained that his administration released N4b as business grants to Rivers women and young entrepreneurs, but beneficiaries of the grants failed to repay the revolving loans.

Speaking, Tambuwal lauded the people of Rivers State for defending their mandate even in the face of plots to rig the election during the 2019 governorship election.

“We commend the people of Rivers State for defending democracy and standing for the state. We monitored what happened. We took note of how the people collectively stood for democracy,” he said.

He explained that a certain Major in the Nigerian Army who attempted to rig the election was also deployed to Sokoto State after the election was declared inclusive, but he also failed, adding that the country would continue to grow stronger as long as leaders remain committed to good governance.

On his part, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed said he was in the state to show solidarity for Wike’s contributions to national development and good governance.

“He is kind and has always provided the rallying point for people of his generation to discuss the development of this country,” he said.

Mohammed said the Niger Delta region remained critical to balancing of power, noting that the zone that lays the golden egg was key to the country’s development.

Responding, Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, said although the state had negative electoral challenges, the people were able to secure their mandate during the 2019 elections.

Danagogo added that the victory of Rivers State over the struggle for Soku Oil Wells was the icing on the cake for 2019.

Also speaking, a former Attorney General of Rivers State, Adokiye Amiesimaka, urged the National Assembly to ensure that the electoral system was strengthened to the extent that it would be impossible to use the Nigerian Army to subvert the will of Nigerians, as was attempted in Rivers State during the 2019 polls.

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