From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has revoked Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of a popular hotel in Port Harcourt, Novotel, for allegedly being the centre of electoral fraud and malpractice.
The governor directed the Special Adviser on Land to, with immediate effect, perfect the revocation of the C of O of the hotel.
He regretted that Novotel had turned itself to the state’s worst centre of electoral fraud, which he alleged caused insecurity and instability.
The governor alleged that on Saturday the facility was used to manipulate the non-elective All Progressives Congress (APC) local government congress.
Governor Wike pointed out that on December 10, 2016, the same Novotel was allegedly used to rig elections.
“We cannot allow hotels to be used for unwholesome activities. The special adviser on lands has been directed to revoke the C of O of Novotel. Any business that is used to affect the security of Rivers State will face the music.
“Nobody will allow rigging in 2019. In 2019, it is one man, one vote. I appeal to APC to allow internal democracy to take place.”
Speaking during the the second session of the third synod of Anglican Diocese of Evo yesterday, Governor Wike pointed out that it was the position of the church to decide who leads Rivers. The governor declared that the church could no longer stand aloof because the rapid development of state, superseded other considerations.
He said: “In Anambra and Imo states, the Catholic Church plays key role on who leads those states. In Rivers State, the church should rise and take a position. “If someone comes up tomorrow and has no relationship with the church, the church will suffer. Rivers State is a Christian state, the church must play a role.”
Meanwhile, Governor Wike has condemned negative statement credited to APC leaders because the Chief Justice of Nigeria laid the foundation for the construction of Judges’ Quarters in the state.
He also berated the APC leadership for deliberately frustrating commissioning of the Rumuokoro Market and Park.
Earlier, Anglican Bishop of Evo Diocese, Rev. Innocent Ordu, appealed to Rivers People to support and pray for the Wike-led administration because it was working for the development of the country.
In his sermon, the Anglican Bishop of Otukpo Diocese, Rev. David Bello, said Governor Wike stands as a worthy ambassador of the church, delivering projects without excuses.
He said while other governors gave excuses for non-performance, Governor Wike had repeatedly deployed resources to develop his people.
He said: “Everyday in the news, Governor Wike is seen working for the people of Rivers State. He is doing projects, despite the economic downturn. I wonder where he is getting money while his colleagues are giving excuses.
“I want to charge the governor to remain focused and not be distracted by unfounded criticisms. The governor should not respond to every unfounded criticism because detractors disturb those who are working.”