• Heads task force on illegal road trading
Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that Nigerians are experiencing the height of irresponsibility in governance with the All Progressives Congress (APC) -led Federal Government’s refusal to obey the rule of law.
The governor also alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as presently constituted, is setting the stage for the rigging of the 2019 general election.
However, he noted that Rivers people have the capacity to resist INEC and APC’s rigging machine.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by civil society organisations in Rivers, yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said publishing the list of persons standing trial in courts and calling them looters is an unfortunate act of irresponsibility by the federal government.
He said the act of irresponsibility was worsened by the fact that APC leaders standing trial were allegedly excluded by the federal government.
“This is an irresponsible federal government that has no respect for the rule of law. They have become the judge and the prosecutor in cases before courts.
“All they want to do is tie the hands of judges to ensure those standing trial are convicted at all costs.”
The governor pointed out that the ’’irresponsible list’’ of looters excluded the name of a former governor, who, he said had been indicted by the court-approved Judicial Commission of Inquiry for allegedly embezzling over N90 billion state funds.
On the alleged plot by INEC, the federal government and security agencies to rig elections in Rivers, Wike said available credible intelligence indicated that strategies have been mapped out by the illegal agents.
He alleged that Mr. Akin Fakorede of the Rivers State Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), was indicted by INEC in its official report for the re-run elections, but the commission made no attempt to prosecute him.
The governor said, instead of prosecuting Fakorede, he was promoted by the Police high command to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police and posted to Yobe State, ‘‘but, the posting cancelled for him to remain in Rivers State for planned electoral fraud.’.
He said despite overwhelming evidence, INEC had refused to respond to the fraudulent release of two separate original Rivers East senatorial district result sheets.
“Unfortunately for them, we have so much capacity to resist any attempt to manipulate the forthcoming elections,” he said.
Wike also alleged a plot to unleash violence on the state using SARS and other security agencies, “so that the elections are not held alongside other states, thereby, paving way for their rigging plan.”
On the neighbourhood safety corps, he said the police and other security agencies will be involved in the recruitment of operatives.
He wondered why some Rivers politicians allegedly derive pleasure in de-marketing the state and urged them to re-direct their energies towards attracting projects to the state.
On the issue of soot, he regretted that the APC federal government and its agencies have politicised the issue as they have refused to work with the Rivers government to curb the menace.
“We have been fighting with the federal government that the military must find refine ways to destroy illegal refineries. We are not in charge of security agencies. They take their orders from Abuja,” he said.
Earlier, the Leader of the civil organisations, Mr. Sotonye George, commended Wike for fulfilling majority of his campaign promises.
He said civil organisations in the state will always partner the government for development.
Meanwhile, Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Emma Okah, has disclosed that Wike will chair a special task force set up by the state executive council, to clear illegal traders from major roads and streets in Port Harcourt and its environs.
Okah, in a statement yesterday, after the council meeting, said the decision to set up the task force was to demonstrate the irreversible determination of government to rid major roads in the state of environmental hazards.
He added that the decision was also to curb sanitary embarrassment and nuisance, which the activities of illegal traders are inflicting on the state and its people.
“The government noted with sadness the recalcitrance of the street traders, who have continuously dared the efforts of government to keep our roads and environment clean.”