Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on the international community to sanction Nigeria and any official linked to rigging of the forthcoming elections in the country.
Governor Wike, also, urged the international community to disregard the death threats of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and monitor the poll, to ensure its credibility.
Speaking at a People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) campaign rally at Ngo, in Andoni Local Government Area, yesterday, governor Wike said the sanctions must begin with El-Rufai, who he described as “the purveyor of extreme electoral violence.”
He said: “We call on the international community not to be afraid or deterred by the so-called threat by El-Rufai. They should come out and monitor the elections. If anybody rigs, they should sanction Nigeria. They should start, first, by imposing sanctions on El-Rufai by cancelling all his visas.”
Wike recalled that in 2015, the international community monitored the elections and no threats were issued by the former president Goodluck Jonathan administration.
“In 2015, the international community monitored the elections and Jonathan lost. He did not fight, instead, he handed over peacefully. He (Jonathan) said his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian. The elections must be free and fair.”
The governor noted that El-Rufai and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government have resorted to issuance of threats because they are afraid of imminent defeat.
“El-Rufai is afraid because he knows he has nothing to account for his stewardship in Kaduna. That is why he can open his mouth to attack the international community. I want the international community to regard the threat by El-Rufai as empty,” he said.
He described El-Rufai as a shifty character who changes over time, in line with his personal interest.
“El-Rufai denies everything he says. Is that a man of character? He was one of those who signed an administrative document in 2007, which disqualified Amaechi as a corrupt person. Today, he is singing a different song on Amaechi.”
He noted that the mere fact that other geo-political zones of the country are quiet does not mean they don’t know what to do.
On development in Andoni local government area, he noted that his administration has invested massively in the Andoni section of the Unity Road. He said several health and education projects have been executed in the area.
Governor Wike urged Andoni people to remain committed to the PDP as their son, the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, is one of the leading lights of the expected sack of the alleged failed APC-led federal government.
He urged the people to vote for all PDP candidates, so the revival of the country, after the victory of Atiku Abubakar, can be fast.
Rivers State PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, presented flags to the party’s candidates for the elections to the people, namely, candidate for Rivers South East Senatorial District, Bari Mpigi; candidate for Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency, Awaji Abiante, and candidate for Andoni State Constituency, Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani.
Obuah urged the people to vote for all the PDP candidates in the elections.
Responding, PDP candidate for Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro federal constituency, Abiante, assured the people will stand firm to defend their votes. He said under no circumstances would Andoni votes be stolen.
House of Assembly Speaker and PDP candidate for Andoni state constituency, Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, thanked governor Wike for his achievements in the area. He assured of the support of the people for his re-election.
He gave credit to PDP for all the developments in Andoni land and described governor Wike as the shepherd of Andoni people.
The speaker said Andoni would remain ever grateful to the Rivers state governor and reward him with their votes.
Former deputy governor, Tele Ikuru, said Andoni will vote for PDP candidates because therein lies the future of the state.
Attorney General of the state, Zacheus Adangor, said governor Wike has moved Andoni from political obscurity to a place of prominence. He said Andoni people will continue to support the governor.
Head of Service, Rufus Godwins, said governor Wike has broken a 60-year jinx, by ensuring Andoni occupies key positions in his administration.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Gender Matters, Mrs Emilia Nte, assured the people of Andoni people are on ground to re-elect governor Wike.