Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Wednesday opened up on why he agreed to a peace accord with his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, saying he would sincerely implement the resolutions of the deal brokered by the leaderships of the Police and State Security Services for the peaceful conduct of rerun elections in the state.
“I was at the peace meeting because we love peace and want the state to move forward, a spokesperson, Simeon Nwakaudu, quoted the governor as saying at a rally in Degema on Wednesday.
“I signed an undertaking on your behalf that we are prepared for INEC credible, free and fair elections. It is not in our position to have crisis because we are the ones losing”, he said.
The rerun elections in the state were earlier scheduled for July 30 but a fresh outbreak of violence, which resulted in the burning down of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s office in Khana Local Government Area of the state, forced a postponement.
Wike, who has not seen eyeball-to-ball with Amaechi, his former boss, for over two years, said he willingly participated in the peace meeting convened by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Director General of the SSS, Lawal Daura, because of his commitment to peace and the need to make sacrifices for the development of the state.
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Governor Wike is the PDP leader in Rivers State while Mr. Amaechi, current Minister of Transportation, leads the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing PDP faithful at the Rivers West Senatorial District Rally in Degema on Wednesday, Governor Wike said the people of the state must be allowed to elect representatives of their choice at the national and state assemblies.
He said the Rivers State Government would partner with security agencies to ensure peaceful elections hold in the state. He said those who want the state to burn would be disappointed.
The governor, however, lamented that some politicians were celebrating the postponement of elections in the state, saying that insistence that Rivers State should have Representatives at the National Assembly was because the people of the state had been shut out on the deliberation of the Petroleum Industry Bill and other legislations.
He, therefore, called on PDP members to remain vigilant while expecting the rerun elections.
“Nigerians know, the world knows that Rivers State is PDP. So shall it be forever”, the governor asserted.
He pledged to ensure development gets to all Local Government Areas of the State, pointing out that with the successes achieved in just one year, the remaining three years would witness more development.
Also speaking, Deputy Governor Ipalibo Banigo said the massive turnout was an indication that the PDP was loved by people of the state.
Senator Osinakachukwu Ideozu, the Rivers West Senatorial District PDP candidate, said the reason given by INEC for the postponement of the rerun elections was not tenable as the state is peaceful.
Former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, also decried the frequency of inconclusive elections since the APC came into power.