Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government is desperate to manipulate the 2019 general election.
Doing this would only lead to crisis, Wike said.
The governor said no amount of brute force or intimidation will stop the Rivers people from defending their votes in 2019.
He said these during a media chat at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
“…They are simply laying foundation for violence and crisis. They have no projects on ground in Rivers state upon which they can campaign on. Therefore, their only option is to attempt to rig.
“Our campaign is the commissioning of projects. All we are doing is to distribute projects. We have provided effective leadership to the state and the people are happy ,” said Wike.
The governor noted that the Nigeria Police Force have arranged for Assistant Commissioner of Police, Akin Fakorede, to be their point-man in the manipulation of Rivers polls.
“Fakorede is an enemy of democracy. I brought this matter to the public for the people to be vigilant. Fakorede is sabotaging the security architecture of Rivers state”, he alleged and added that the federal government ought to have realised that attempting to rig is an exercise in futility, in view of the few seats they won during the rerun.
On threats to his life, Wike insisted the threat was real because of credible intelligence available to the the state government.
He said denials of federal government officials were expected.
On the political conflict in the state, Wike said he has nothing personal against the former governor , aside the need to protect the state’s interest and decried a situation where the former governor would lead a campaign to destroy and de-market Rivers.
Governor Wike charged journalists to promote the state because as people who reside in the state, they are major stakeholders.
He said that his greatest achievement has been the restoration of security in the state, noting that security is also his greatest challenge.
Wike, however, offered to provide official transport to convey the defeated 2015 APC governorship candidate to Opobo, on the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo-Nkoro Unity road at the end of the year.
The governor said that the APC has politicised the issue of soot challenge in the state, creating the atmosphere where security agencies destroy illegal refineries crudely.
He noted that despite the actions of the APC-led Federal Government, the administration was working with Agip, Shell and Total to resolve the soot challenge.
Wike further added that the state government has briefed a prominent environmental lawyer, Lucius Nwosu, to sue the federal government on the soot.
On women empowerment , Governor Wike said he has empowered women with leadership positions, so that they could contribute to the development of the state.
He said that all the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deputy chairmanship candidates for the Local Government elections were women, while there are 150 women councillorship candidates.
He added that N500 million has been set aside by the State Government for the women involved in small scale businesses.