Wike: INEC Can Conduct Election in Sambisa Forest, But Not in Rivers

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By Davidson Iriekpen

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, yesterday stated  that  the fact that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can successfully  conduct elections  in Sambisa forest, but not in Rivers State was an indication  of the  negative plot against the state.

He also described  as unfortunate  the statement credited to the immediate  past governor of the state, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi,   that there was no good road to the hometown  of a late APC chieftain, Chief Godspower  Ake, when he spent eight years with huge  resources accruing to the state, but only misappropriated funds meant for development.

Speaking  during a state dinner for the delegates of the West African Architects Fair from 13 countries at the weekend, Wike  said  the non-conclusion of the rerun elections  in the state was a fallout of the grand conspiracy  to  rig the polls in favour of an unpopular  party .

He said: “Because people want to illegally  seize power in Rivers State that is why you are hearing all this. All this plot is to take Rivers State.  Why do you  want to take  Rivers State  when it is  not your own?

“Between March 19th and now, they planned to do elections  so that they can get the number of seats to impeach me and put their own  man. Since March, everyday they postpone the  elections.  From May to June to July, August then September.  They said October ending, still no election.  Now, they said   December 10 and when we get to December  10, they may shift it to next year.”

The governor  noted  that it was ironic that INEC which conducted successful  elections  in the north-east  and Sambisa  forest  cannot  conduct election  in Rivers State.

“Election took place in Borno, election took place in Yobe, election took place in Adamawa where you have  deadly insurgency. They  were able to conduct  elections  and votes were counted. They were able to  conduct election  in Sambisa forest and votes were counted, but they cannot conduct election  here in Rivers State,” Wike said.

The governor  said the action of INEC  and its collaborators have denied the state  representation in the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Rivers State House of Assembly.

He said: “They continue  to postpone  the elections in Rivers State.  The Senate will  be  discussing the  Petroleum Industry Bill, they will be having  the constitutional  amendment and  the state that produces  the oil has no senator  and cannot be  part of the   discussion. Nobody will defend  Rivers State in the senate.

“Nigerians  are not worried. Why? Rivers is a minority  state.”

The governor  maintained  that Rivers State  is  far more peaceful  than other major  states in the country, hence it has played host to series of international and national  conferences.

He said once elections  approach, desperate opposition politicians  and their media collaborators induce negative  propaganda  on insecurity.

He added that deliberate anti-development programmes have been slated against Rivers State, pointing out  that  the  state has successfully  overcome these  plots.

“We are the only state that applied for bail out , but they   did not  give to us. We are the only state where they started deducting  our funds, when a loan facility has not been given to us,” the governor noted.

He called on the members of the Nigeria Institute of Architects  to partner the state government  for development  designs that will enhance the growth of the state.

In his remarks, the President of the Nigeria Institute of Architects, Tonye Braide, assured  the governor that Nigerian architects  would support his drive towards developing the state.