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Suspension of guber poll, conspiracy against Rivers State, alleges Wike

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Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike

• Group Blames Governor For Rivers Stalemate
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has described the suspension of the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections as a conspiracy against the people of the state.

He, however, implored the people to remain calm, saying the success of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 23 rerun election would be a sweet victory in the end.

But a Port Harcourt-based civil society organisation, Rivers Success Movement (RSM) blamed the governor for the violence that characterised the electoral process on March 9, leading to the suspension of the exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a statement, RSM noted that Wike had prepared the ground for wild violence during the election when the state government recruited a band of militia and started giving it military training in the name of grooming neighbourhood watch.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Army, had last year stormed the training camp and disbanded the militia group on the ground that it was illegal and unconstitutional.

Wike, speaking when members of the National Assembly elected on the platform of the PDP visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt, to present their INEC Certificates of Return to him, yesterday, stated: “I know that PDP won the elections squarely. We believe in peace, therefore, Rivers people should remain calm. We believe in due process. I believe that INEC is doing their best to follow the due process.

“In the end, it will be a sweet victory. The will of Rivers people will prevail.”

The governor said the entire political standoff remains a drama that will definitely come to an end, insisting that the people of Rivers voted overwhelmingly for the PDP in all the elections, while the anti-democratic forces attempted to snatch results at the collation centres.

“It is not in doubt that Rivers people have shown our party love. What is happening is sad; it is a drama. We have 13 House of Representatives seats and the PDP clinched all of them. We have three Senate seats, one has been declared and PDP won. When the remaining two seats are declared, PDP will win them. Eighty percent of the seats declared, PDP took all.

“You begin to wonder why any right thinking person would say that PDP lost the governorship election. Not that they say PDP lost to a party with a known logo or that you have seen the candidate one day in your life or seen his posters to make people vote for the candidate. For us, it is a drama. PDP won the election squarely.”

Wike said that across the 4,442 polling units of the state, the people voted for the PDP in all the elections, adding: “Not when you hijack results at the Collation Centre. When you hijack Form EC 8C, you forget that there is Form EC 8A. Any other party can win in any other state, but not in Rivers States.”

He dedicated the victory attained in the general election by the PDP to God and the people of the state who stood firm and vowed that nobody could manipulate their mandate.

He tasked the elected National Assembly members to always place the interest of the state above other considerations as they represent the state, declaring that all those who plotted the killings of Rivers people because of their desperation to clinch power would face the consequences of their actions.

Senator-elect, Barry Mpigi, said there was no need for anyone to panic, as Wike would be declared winner in line with the votes cast on March 9, saying the people are with the governor, judging from their votes in all the polling units.

“We have looked round the 23 councils and we have seen that the people of Rivers voted for you. Don’t panic, the vindication will come at the appropriate time,” said Mpigi.

RSM, in a statement signed by its President, Mr. Godstime Orlukwu, noted that but for the presence of soldiers and other security agents, the volume of carnage would have been worse, noting that it was the military saved the people from the bloody rage that would have befallen the state.

“The stage for a repeat of the 2015 experience had been set by Wike and the Rivers State Government through deliberately setting up an armed militia group under the guise of Neighborhood Watch. He even provided military uniforms for these criminals.

“The Watch had the responsibility of terrorising, maiming, murdering and taking over homes of the governor’s opponents, a reason for which they were given widespread powers against the constitution of Nigeria,” the group said.

It commenced the military for helping to arrest the spate of killings, like that of 2015 elections, when over 100 people were killed, stating: “Our heartfelt appreciation goes to the Nigeria Army and other security agencies for their dedication, commitment and professionalism before, during and after the elections.

“It is already a public knowledge that if not for the gallantry of the men in uniform, a repeat of the 2015 massacre was imminent, considering especially that the Wike-led government had set up a well-funded militia group.”

It urged the INEC “to beam its searchlight on the activities of its personnel with the aim of determining if the use of known politicians as ad-hoc staff does not contravene the Electoral Act.”


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