Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor and the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship candidate for the March 9, 2019 election, Nyesom Wike, has been re-elected for another four years.
Governor Wike defeated his major challenger and candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Biokpomabo Awara, with 712,405 votes margin.
Wike polled 886,264 votes from 21 local government areas (LGs) where results were collated and announced, thus, winning in 19 council areas out of the 21.
The AAC governorship candidate, Awara, scored 173,859 votes, winning in two local government areas, Oyigbo and Akuku-Toru.
Declaring Wike winner, yesterday, evening, after all the results were announced, the state Returning Officer for the governorship election, Prof. Teddy Adias, said the governor met the requirements in line with the electoral law.
Adias said: “Today marks the end of an election that started on March 9, 2019. I want to announce, again, that I am Prof. Teddy Adias, the state returning officer for the governorship election.
“That Nyesom Wike, having satisfied all the requirements of the election, is, hereby, declared winner and re-elected.”
The results were announced before the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) National Commissioner, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, and members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
He said the number of registered voters was 3,048,741; accredited voters were 1,130,445, valid votes were 1,102,823 and number of votes cast was 1,123,840.
No results came from the remaining two local government areas, Abua/Odual and Gokana, following reported cases of violence and destruction of results.
The INEC Returning Officers ((ROs) for Abua/Odual and Gokana LGs, Friday Nwafor and Goddy Christian, respectively, in their separate statements, told INEC collation committee, that violence erupted at the time of results collation.
Nwafor said when he arrived at the Abua/Odual LG collation centre, the place was rowdy and some people were wielding dangerous weapons, which made the stakeholders present to call for the suspension of the elections.
Fielding questions from journalists, shortly after Wike was declared winner, the AAC agent and party secretary, Nenye Kocha, said the party would “study the document.”
Gov dedicates victory to people
Speaking after he was declared winner of the election, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike dedicated his victory to the good people of the state, and said he was overwhelmed by the support and love during and after the general election. Wike also dedicated the victory to God.
He expressed gratitude to the people for standing by the PDP despite the illegal actions of the enemies of democracy.
He said: “I want to thank the people of Rivers State for showing the kind of love we have never seen before. I thank them for showing the kind of support we have never seen before.”
He thanked PDP members for their show of courage, despite intimidation by security operatives who illegally wanted to change the will of Rivers people.
He said: “Those who died not because they were criminals, but because they wanted to defend their votes. We dedicate this victory to those who were killed. They protected our votes and they defended us. We pray God to grant their families the strength to bear the losses. We shall continue to support the families,” and added that he would run an inclusive government, which will accommodate all shades of interest.
“We have no other state. You may have mansions elsewhere, but there is no place like home. We must come together and build our state.”