Rivers is peaceful and ready for election, says Wike, urges INEC to stop making excuses
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said on Friday that he has no personal problem with his predecessor, Mr Chibuike Amaechi. Wike disclosed this at the 12 All Nigeria Editors Conference holding in Port Harcourt.
The governor who addressed a huge gathering of editors also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop inflaming the polity through actions and inactions that prompt politicians and the electorate to fight for their rights through violence. He maintained that Rivers State is peaceful and therefore offers a good atmosphere for INEC to organise the re-run election.
“INEC should stop using the excuse of insecurity to shy away from its responsibility. This state is peaceful; you editors have been here for days, some of you for over a week, go to the streets and talk to people and they will tell you there is nothing like insecurity here. At least, all the while you have been in the state, nobody has harassed you or assaulted you”, he said.
The governor said Rivers is predominantly a PDP state and that any act to take the state through crooked method by anybody would be resisted by the people. He urged INEC to conduct the elections and allow the people’s votes to count.
According to Wike, nobody talks about insecurity when they share the money yielded by oil exploration activities of oil companies operating in the state under peaceful atmosphere, he wondered why the same people who did not see insecurity among the oil activities are the ones citing insecurity as reason for endless postponement of election.
According to him, the PDP is ready for election and the voters are ready because they feel short-changed that they have no voice in the National Assembly, urging INEC to stop running away from reality.
“Rivers State is safe for any election. If INEC can conduct election in Borno State and other states where there is insurrection by Boko Haram, it has no reason not to do so in Rivers State where there is comparative and relative peace like most states in the country.
On his relationship with Amaechi, Wike explained that he and the Minister of Transportation differed politically because they belonged to different parties.
“There is nothing personal. We differ politically because we belong to different political politics.
“We want peace in the state and it is my desire to ensure that the state is peaceful,” he said.
Wike also said that former president Goodluck Jonathan did something special to ensure peace in the country by conceding defeat during the 2015 general election.
“Jonathan should be commended for this single act. People should emulate this move to ensure peace in the country,” the governor said.
According to Wike, Amaechi was his boss as governor and they had good times serving the state.
“We should make sacrifices for peace. The state must move on. We only differ politically and that should not be to the level that will destroy the state,” he said.
Wike also stressed the need for peace and unity in the country, urging Nigerians not to compromise that stand.