Wike tackles Buhari over refusal to sign amended electoral act
Wike, who spoke during an interview on Channels Television in Port Harcourt, said for the nation to move forward, elections needs to be transparent and all votes are counted.
“Why didn’t the President sign the last amendment Electoral Act, why? Because APC as a party had informed the president that if you sign this electoral amendment, you are likely to lose the election,” Wike said. “Therefore, don’t sign it. And of course, the president did not sign the electoral amendment act.
“I am not carried away by the antics of the National Assembly. They all know what will make the country to move forward. One, make the election to be transparent by ensuring that all votes are counted. You can achieve that by allowing the card reader to function. So that the figures recorded on the card reader should tally with the transmitted figures.”
Wike said the National Assembly members are often preoccupied about the next election, so they tend to skew the electoral amendment act to benefit their interest and that of their political party.
The governor said an amendment of the electoral act by the National Assembly will be mere charade if card reader is not to be used to determine the validity of every vote cast.
The governor observed that several attempts to achieve a credible electoral reform had been mired by overriding personal ambition of persons with vested political interest within and outside the National Assembly.
On security, the governor advised the new service chiefs to shun politics and concentrate on strategy that will enable them to end insurgency in the country .
Wike noted that lots of Nigerians had lost confidence in the former service chiefs, thus, the clamour for Buhari to sack them. He applauded Buhari for listening to citizens.
“They must understand that challenges are enormous and so they have a lot of work to do. They should not concern themselves with politics,” Wike said.
Governor Wike accused former Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai of political bias.
He cited the arrest and detention of recruits of the Rivers State Neighbourhood Watch Safety Corps who were undergoing training at the National Youth Service Corp orientation camp at Norwan in Rivers State by the Nigerian Army on the directive of the then Chief of Army Staff.
The governor described Buhari’s claim that the security situation in the country has improved far beyond what the situation was when he assumed office in 2015 as erroneous.
“Things have gone very bad,” Wike said. “Everybody knows that insecurity has reached the level where everybody was saying change the service chiefs. If it was good, nobody will call for their sack. Even in his party, the APC said the insecurity has gotten to a level we cannot bear again.”
Wike pointed out that despite the withdrawal of $1 Billion, estimated to be above N450 Billion from the excess crude account to procure armament to fight the insurgents, security has continued to deteriorate.
Speaking on the issue of community policing, the governor noted that both the federal government and the police high command are playing politics with the scheme.
“If you want this country to move forward, it is important that the States must take control of security apparatus of their state,” Wike said.
“I know the local governments, I know the communities, I know the families. So I should be able to say this is what we should do in policing these areas. Therefore, the need for community policing is necessary, but what is the problem is that the federal government comes up to say, they will support community policing, but where have they supported it.”
“The police itself will say, oh we are interested in community policing. Let me tell you what happened in my State. They said they want to do community policing and they called traditional rulers to seek their cooperation.”
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