Tony John, Port Harcourt
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, have congratulated Governor, Nyesom Wike, on his victory at the March 9 gubernatorial election, which collation was finally concluded on Wednesday night.
Saraki, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in Abuja, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said Wike’s victory, ‘despite desperate antics of some opposition forces in the state’, was a testament to his determination to develop Rivers State for his people.
“Congratulations Governor Wike, on your decisive victory at the Rivers State gubernatorial election. As you prepare to begin your next term at the helm of your state’s affairs, I wish you and the great people of Rivers State great success and many more achievements in the years to come.
“As a committed and resilient leader, who has constantly demonstrated your commitment to the development of your state, in particular, and Nigeria as a whole, the new mandate that your people have entrusted in you is not surprising to anyone.
“In this regard, as you prepare to embark on the new mandate that the great people of Rivers State have entrusted in you and our great party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), I wish you the utmost grace and wisdom of the Almighty for the task ahead,” Saraki said.
Also, the NUJ, Rivers State Council, in a statement signed by the Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley, and Secretary, Ike Wigodo, noted the uncommon courage, resilience and political sagacity displayed by governor Wike during the long and strenuous journey back to the Brick House, and described his re-election as a victory for democracy.
NUJ said in the statement: “Governor Wike’s landslide victory at the just concluded poll bears eloquent testimony to the resolve of Rivers people to take their destiny in their hands.
“It is also in appreciation of the giant strides recorded by governor Wike, during his first term in office.
“The union hopes governor Wike’s landslide victory will spur him to reciprocate the confidence and trust reposed in him by the Rivers electorate, as well as propel him to carry on with the huge task of governance in the state.
“As an astute administrator and a politician par excellence, who has, over the years, demonstrated great passion for changing the face of Rivers State, we believe governor Wike’s victory at the poll will spur him to redouble his efforts in rendering selfless service to the state.”
The NUJ, also, enjoined the governor to lift the ban on promotion of civil servants in the state and work towards clearing the backlog of promotion arrears, gratuities and pensions of workers.
“It is our hope that the governor will implement his campaign promises in record time, even as we urge him to be magnanimous in victory, by extending the hands of fellowship to the opposition, in the efforts to develop the state.
“We also urge governor Wike to initiate a peace process that will reconcile Rivers people, irrespective of political leanings, especially those who may be aggrieved as a result of the election.”
Meanwhile, the state PDP Campaign Council has expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for using the people of Rivers for the re-election of governor Wike.
Director of Information and Communications of the campaign council, Emma Okah, in a message to the people of the state, yesterday, said through their resilience, prayers and steadfast support, they were able to overcome anti-democratic forces against the state.
Okah, who is also the commissioner for Information and Communications, expressed happiness to the churches, traditional rulers and leaders of thought, women and others, within and outside the state, for their relentless prayers and support, which culminated in the overwhelming victory of governor Wike.
He also underscored the critical roles played by the security agencies, particularly patriotic officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Service (DSS) and National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), by ensuring that the collation exercise was hitch-free. He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its commitment towards concluding the collation exercise in the state, despite threats of violence.