Tony John, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that the desperation of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to manipulate the 2019 general election would only lead to crisis.
Governor Wike said that no amount of brute force or intimidation would stop the Rivers people from defending their votes in 2019.
Speaking during a media chat yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said: “They want to manipulate the electoral process in Rivers State in 2019. 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 “.
The governor noted that the Police 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.
He said 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.
Commenting on the threat to his life, Governor Wike said that the threat was real because of credible intelligence available to the the State Government.
He said that the denials of the officials of the Federal Government was expected.
On the political conflict in the State, Governor Wike said that he has nothing personal against the former governor (Chibuike Amaechi), aside the need to protect the interest of the state.
He decried the situation where the former governor leads a campaign to destroy and de-market Rivers.
Governor Wike charged journalists to take action to promote the state, because as people who reside in the state, they were 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.
The governor said that he would not respond to insults heaped on him by the defeated 2015 Rivers State governorship candidate for the APC (Dakuku Peterside) because they were borne out of frustration.
He, 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 APC 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.