TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has stated that Nigerians will resist any attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government to deliberately truncate the nation’s democracy.
Governor Wike spoke during the inter-denominational service to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, at the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral, Rumuopara Deanery, Port Harcourt.
Wike said that the illegal actions of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration were pointers to the fact that he might not willingly hand over after he suffers defeat in February.
Governor Wike said that the alleged charges concocted by the Buhari administration against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), were aimed at frightening the judiciary ahead of the planned manipulation of the polls.
He noted that the concocted charges against the CJN were targeted at the Niger Delta, same way they muzzled former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Wike said: “Since 1960, when Nigeria gained independence, for the first time in 2011, a Niger Delta person became the president. The entire country ganged up against him. They gave excuses and denied us a second term. We did not fight. We did not shed blood. He said his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian, and they called him a weak man.
“Since 1960, no Niger Delta person has been the Chief Justice of Nigeria. When it came to his own time to be appointed the Chief Justice of Nigeria, politics came in. They were not willing to appoint him. It was God that created the circumstances. The president was sick and was flown out. That was how Walter Onoghen became the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“Now, because they believe that the Niger Delta is not part of this country, they have come again with all kinds of stories. They think they are talking to small children. They fabricated stories and said he did not declare his assets in 2011. They have step aside who to take over. We must know whether we belong to this country. Enough is enough! I have never seen people who are so desperate to cling to power.”
The governor added: “When they came before to attack the judiciary, I raised the alarm. I told them what they were doing was part of their future plan. Unfortunately, NBA did not realise it. They chickened out and gave out their judges, not knowing that the lion is still waiting somewhere to complete the assignment.
“They have INEC and the security agencies. They have plotted how to rig the elections. But, they have not been able to gag the judiciary.
In order for them to consolidate on their rigging machinery, they want to gag the judiciary. What they want to do is to intimidate the judiciary.”
Governor Wike expressed surprise that the Attorney-General of the Federation would be used by the failed APC federal government to concoct illegal charges against the CJN.
“They know and the law is clear. You cannot try any judge except the National Judicial Council approves. They know they cannot try the CJN. But, all they are doing is to cause embarrassment; put fear in all the judges.
“(I don’t know why) an attorney general, who calls himself an attorney general will sit and file such charges against the Chief Justice of Nigeria one month to the general election. What kind of crises are they setting up? They want to cause crises in the judiciary, and they think everyone should keep quiet?” he said
Governor Wike said the extreme manipulation of the system and the enthronement of a culture of impunity by the Buhari-led administration would not augur well for the country.
He said: “Nigerians will resist any attempt to truncate this democracy. With what I am seeing with this present government, because they are smelling defeat, they are not likely to hand over, if they lose. Mark it today.
“If they lose, they will prefer something funny to happen. Anybody that does that will face the consequences. Now, they are pushing people to the wall. Be careful how you deny people their mandate. Allow people’s votes to count.
“We are no longer in a democracy. This system is worse than the military. Even under the military, opinions of the people count.”
Governor Wike said any security personnel plotting evil against the Rivers State would face God’s judgement and punishment.
In a sermon titled: “Your work will follow you,” Ven John Adubasim said Rivers people were happy with the achievements of Governor Wike.
He prayed God to bless the families of the fallen heroes and war veterans, assuring that their sacrifices would never be forgotten.
The cleric warned against the attempt to scuttle the nation’s democracy by enemies of democracy.
He said that God would embarrass anyone trying to subvert the will of the people of the state.
Ven Adubasim cautioned the military not to allow themselves to be used to manipulate the elections.