By Simeon Nwakaudu
Each time issues are raised about the corruption and fraud being perpetrated by the Police and INEC in the Rivers electoral process, the Rivers APC rises up in shameful defence of the two failing national institutions.
This is understandable. The Rivers APC is not on ground in the state.
Unfortunately, the Rivers APC fails to address the issues raised. They prefer to rain insults on the office and person of Governor Wike.
Once again, the leadership of the Rivers APC has risen up to the defence of the Police and INEC, over the Rivers East Senatorial District where the police certified and tendered results to the Election Tribunal, which formed the basis upon which Senator George Thompson Sekibo was removed from office by the Court of Appeal.
The facts are clear. At the risk of repetition, let me outline them once again. Senator George Thompson Sekibo won the elections through valid votes cast during the December 10, 2016 Rerun Election. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC ) declared him duly elected. Instead of contesting that result, the Rivers APC approached the Police High Command for concocted results of the same election. The Police manufactured results for Rivers East Senatorial District, using the same serial numbers as INEC. These results cooked by the Police High Command were relied upon by the tribunal. These facts have not been controverted by the APC. Throwing tantrums cannot change this political robbery masterminded by the APC, the Nigerian Police and INEC.
APC’s penchant for lies has become an international embarrassment for Nigeria. However, Rivers APC’s ridiculous attempt to justify this daylight robbery of the mandate of the people of Rivers East beats all forms of logic.
Are the leaders of the Rivers APC saying that the constitutional responsibility for the declaration of election results now rests with their allies, the Police? Are they saying that serial numbers on INEC result sheets can be freely used by the police to manufacture results? These are questions that must be answered by the Police, the Rivers APC and INEC. This matter wont go away because the APC can haul insults and buy media space.
These are the issues that Governor Wike raised during his meeting with Okrika leaders and at the Thanksgiving Service in honour of Senator George Thompson Sekibo.
These are the words of Governor Wike to Okrika Leaders: “Remember, last year , I raised an alarm that INEC and Police were planning to rig the rerun elections. We caught people printing INEC result sheets and reported the matter. Somebody was arrested. They sent the person to Zone 6 Calabar and granted him bail. Till now, they are yet to complete investigations into that critical matter.
“INEC declared results. All of us know that if elections are held twenty times, Senator George Thompson Sekibo will win. INEC printed their own result sheets, same serial numbers, these people printed their own result sheets with same INEC serial numbers. You ask yourself, how did they get to know INEC serial numbers. Because they could not smuggle in their own result sheets, INEC declared the authentic results.
“Unknown to us, they had gone to connive with the police. That tells you what they want to do in 2019. Thank God, they have alerted us. Instead of them to write INEC to give them the certified true copies of the result sheets, they went to the police. Police are now in custody of INEC results. Police certified their own and gave them “.
At the Thanksgiving Service in honour of Senator George Thompson Sekibo, Governor Wike reiterated that Rivers people will resist any attempt to use security operatives to rig elections in Rivers State.
This position is in line with the constitutional responsibility of all well-meaning Nigerians to stop political armed robbers from stealing the mandate of the people.
Without doubt, the man facilitated by the police to represent Rivers East Senatorial District did not win on the field. He is representing those who helped him to steal the mandate, not the Senatorial District.
Under the leadership of Ibrahim Idris, the Nigerian Police has turned into the enemy of the people. The Police are now agents of the APC, using state power to promote crime against the people.
The Police under the leadership of Ibrahim Idris is now a mandate trading company. I am not surprised that Rivers APC are shouting to distract the attention of Nigerians from this crime.
On December 12, 2016, Rivers Special Anti-Robbery Squad Commander, Akin Fakorede, under the directive of IGP Idris attempted to rob the collated results at the Rivers East Senatorial District. These Police operatives beat INEC, but were resisted by the people.
When this mandate robbery attempt failed, the Police High Command took a step never imagined. They colluded with INEC to cook up results outside of the authentic results declared at the Senatorial District Collation Centre.
Rather than bring Akin Fakorede to justice, IGP Ibrahim Idris facilitated his promotion to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
As I write, IGP Ibrahim Idris is enmeshed in the worst scandal ever to engulf a police chief. The Senate Committee Chairman on Navy, Senator Isah Hamma Misau alleged that IGP Ibrahim Idris is neck-deep in crime, promotion/posting racketeering and bribery . According to him, the IGP makes about N120billion IGP makes up to N10bn monthly from oil companies, banks and private individuals who enjoy special protection from the security agency. While I am in no position to pass judgment on the weighty allegations of Senator Misau against the embattled IGP, I want to say with all sense of responsibility that Rivers people know the ugly side of the IGP. During the December 10, 2016 Rerun Elections, the IGP used the Police to unleash mayhem, snatch results, kill and maim Rivers people, just because he was doing the bidding of the APC.
The IGP is the least person to talk about integrity. In saner climes, he would be compelled to step aside for independent investigations on these weighty allegations and other pending issues. The concoction of Rivers East Senatorial District results alongside INEC, being one of them.
In terms of performance, Governor Wike remains Nigeria’s most outstanding governor in the area of projects delivery, payment of salaries and pensions and the empowerment of the people. Till date, the APC has refused to take up Governor Wike’s challenge for an independent peer review between Rivers State and their governors in terms of projects and programmes for the good of the people.
The APC must realise that power belongs to the people. Nobody will allow a group of failed politicians to use the security agencies to steal the mandate of the people, again.
Governor Wike is focused on cleaning the mess of the APC in Rivers State. For eight years, the immediate past Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi squandered N3trillion that accrued to the state. He left 4 months of unpaid salaries and six months of unpaid pensions. Instead of developing critical infrastructure, he used the state funds to sponsor the APC at all levels across the country.
Today, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is working round the clock to transform Rivers State. Key road projects are either underway or completed in Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor, Abua/Odual, Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Akuku Toru, Degema, Etche, Andoni, Opobo/Nkoro, Ikwerre, Emohua, Khana, Gokana, Okrika, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Oyigbo, and Tai Local Government Areas of the State.
The Rivers State Government is reconstructing and furnishing 175 Primary and Junior Secondary Schools in all the 23 Local Government Areas.
In each of the local government areas, local contractors were engaged to execute these projects. These local contractors have in turn engaged different cadres of skilled and unskilled labour. Rural economies are also positively impacted.
There is also the total rehabilitation and equpping of 13 General and Zonal Hospitals across the state. Add this to the upgrade and reconstruction of five major secondary schools in the three senatorial districts.
These projects have been distributed to create jobs in different communities.
As a responsible government, the Wike administration has made the greatest investment in security. It has funded security operations, logistics and supported the setting up of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army. With close to 200 patrol vans and over 20 gunboats donated to the security agencies , the State Governmemt has continued to develop the state’s security infrastructure to meet emerging challenges. The state amnesty programme has been quite successful.
As Nigerians, we are living witnesses that the present administration has weakened federal institutions such as the security agencies and INEC. These institutions, especially the Police and INEC have become rigging cartels, recklessly bold in their quest to defraud Nigerians.
Their collusion to deny the people of Rivers East Senatorial District their preferred representation is a wake up call to other Nigerians.
These electoral criminals have been embolden by their successful robbery and they may want to pull another stunt in 2019. For the people of Rivers State, Governor Wike has given them a charge….wake up and protect your mandate from political robbers, masquerading as police and INEC officials.
Governor Wike captures the situation thus:
“Instead of bringing change as they promised, things are getting worse. They have introduced extreme fraud in the country, especially denying the people their mandate.
“2019, they will not succeed. As far as we are concerned, we have no senator in Rivers East. The man going there has no capacity to represent us. All of us should be ready. We should be praying to God, but ready to fight”.
“Nobody should be afraid of the Police or Army, because liberty comes with a price. They have nothing to campaign with outside the use of security. I am ready to place myself on line, nobody will take Rivers State “.
The APC has nothing to show for their 27 months in government , other than lies and propaganda. They have no achievements aside turning national institutions to centres of crime and fraud.
It will take decades for Nigeria to recover from the unfortunate poor governance model, electoral fraud and corruption that APC has injected into Nigeria.