Rivers Rerun election will be a test for democracy – Governor Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the forthcoming legislative rerun elections in the state would be a test of the preparedness of the current Federal Government to allow for the deepening of democracy.

He reiterated that the Supreme Court upheld his election on the premise of laid down legal principles applied in all the other governorship appeals , saying that no action was taken to influence the judgment as alleged by the Rivers APC.

The governor who appeared on a radio phone-in programme in Port Harcourt on Saturday, said that the people of Rivers State would not allow the planned use of security agencies to rig the elections to materialise.

According to him, the desperation to rig the forthcoming rerun elections is part of a plot by the APC to capture Rivers State through fraudulent means as they have arranged to write results and go ahead with an impeachment plan.

He said: “They are so desperate to rig the elections. These elections will be a test for democracy in Nigeria “.
Governor Wike said that contrary to claims by the APC, he is not involved in inciting violence as the warning he gave that those who plan to rig the rerun elections will be treated as political armed robbers is in line with similar warnings given by President Muhammadu Buhari before the last general elections.
“If they are coming to do proper elections to let the will of the people to prevail, we will support them. Why are they worried simply because we are fighting political armed robbers”, he said.

On the issue of the Supreme Court judgment which validated his election, Governor Wike said that just like in other governorship elections, the Court held that the Card reader was not superior to the voter register in the accreditation process. He added that the Supreme Court also held that he was not given fair hearing because the second chairman of the Rivers State Governorship Tribunal passed a judgment in a motion that he did not hear.

He stated that it was unfortunate that the Rivers State APC would misinterprete his vote of thanks and single out Dr Peter Odili for attacks when he listed several PDP leaders who supported him as party men.

Governor Wike said that in the earlier appeal he filed on the issue of territorial jurisdiction with Justice Mary Odili on the panel, the Supreme Court dismissed his appeal with the APC celebrating , pointing out that on the Panel without Just Mary Odili, his appeal was upheld.

He wondered why the Rivers APC wants the world to believe their falsehood that Justice Mary Odili influenced a panel in which she was not a member, but could not influence the one she sat on.
Commenting on the military invasion of Ogoni communities which led to the loss of innocent lives, Governor Wike said that he supports fight against criminality, but will never support the unjustified killing of innocent people.

He said he visited Yeghe and Bori as governor to ascertain the level of damage and loss of lives. He wondered why in the so-called search for one Solomon Ndigbara, the military would massively deploy to Ogoni land to disrupt very peaceful communities.

While blaming Senator Magnus Abe for going about with soldiers to intimidate his constituents, Governor Wike said that it was unfortunate that some politicians invite soldiers to rout their peaceful communities.

He said that the Solomon Ndigbara that Magnus Abe is hunting for was Senator ABE’S associate before they fell out politically.
“Senator Magnus Abe should apologise to the Ogoni people. I am an Ikwerre man. Have you ever seen me invite the military to our land?”, he said.

He denied making any inciting statement when he attended the Birthday of Senator Lee Maeba, saying that all he did was to campaign for the PDP candidate, Senator Olaka Nwogu.
The governor added that he intercepted a communication wherein Senator Abe stated that he can only emerge victorious through the help of soldiers during the rerun elections.

Governor Wike emphasised his declaration that top government functionaries, PDP candidates in the forthcoming rerun elections and PDP leaders should resist arrest from security agents detailed to destabilise the PDP ahead of the rerun elections.

He said he believes in the rule of law hence he will not allow anyone to use illegal means to manipulate the election process in the state.

Simeon Nwakaudu,
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor,
Electronic Media.
5th March, 2016.

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