Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on the International Community to focus on the forthcoming general election to stop the alleged planned manipulation by the All Progressives Congress (APC)- led Federal Government.
This was even as the British Government has declared that it expects the 2019 elections to be peaceful, free and fair.
Governor Wike said it is incumbent on the international community, especially the United Kingdom, United States of America and the European Union, to repeat the 2015 feat, when they monitored all the processes.
He spoke, yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, when he granted audience to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing.
He said: “We appeal to international community to focus on the forthcoming general election.
“This is not the first time the international community would be doing this. In 2015, the United Kingdom, European Union and the United States actively monitored the elections.”
He said the ‘failed’ APC-led federal government was foisted on the country by the Western powers.
While declaring that the government and people of the state are committed to peaceful polls, Governor Wike charged the United Kingdom to prevail on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies not to manipulate the elections.
“Talk to INEC and the police to allow Nigerians to vote freely, and for their votes to count. Any attempt to manipulate the elections will make the issue to be out of control of the people,” he said.
Governor Wike said the alleged plot by the APC-led federal government to shutdown internet and communication access would make it impossible for the international community and stakeholders to monitor the elections.
The governor said there would be no violence, if elections are free and fair. He, however, regretted that the legal outlet for seeking redress has allegedly been destroyed by the federal government, through the attacks on the judiciary.
Earlier, Laing encouraged all stakeholders to work towards peaceful and credible polls.
She noted that Rivers is important to the country and said peaceful polls in the state would have positive multiplier effects.
Laing added that she was also in Rivers to acquaint herself with the environmental challenges facing the state.