Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the federal government acted irresponsibly by publishing the names of people standing trial in courts and calling them looters.
The governor also declared that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as presently constituted is setting the stage for the rigging of the 2019 general election, insisting that Rivers people have the capacity to resist the commission and the All Progressives Congress (APC) rigging machine in the state.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of Rivers State yesterday at the Government House Port Harcourt, Wike declared that Nigerians are experiencing the height of irresponsibility in governance with the APC-led federal government refusal to obey the rule of law.
He insisted that publishing the list of persons standing trial in courts and calling them looters is an unfortunate act of irresponsibility by the federal government.
He said the act of irresponsibility was worsened by the fact that APC leaders standing trial were excluded by the APC-led federal government.
â€œThis is an irresponsible federal government that has no respect for the rule of law. They have become the judge, the prosecutor in cases before courts.
â€œAll they want to do is tie the hands of judges to ensure all those standing trial are convicted at all costs,â€ Wike said.
He pointed out that the irresponsible list of looters excluded the name of the immediate past Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, who was indicted by the court-approved Judicial Commission of Inquiry for embezzling over N90 billion state funds.
On the alleged plot by INEC, federal government and security agencies to rig elections in Rivers State, Wike said available credible intelligence indicate that strategies have been mapped out by the agents.
He noted that the head of Rivers State Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Mr Akin Fakorede, was indicted by INEC in its official report for the rerun elections, but the commission made no attempt to prosecute him.
The governor said instead of prosecuting Fakorede, he was promoted by the Police High Command to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, posted to Yobe State and the posting cancelled for him to remain in Rivers State for planned electoral fraud.
He said despite overwhelming evidence, INEC has refused to respond to the fraudulent release of two separate original Rivers East senatorial district result sheets which led to use of police for the theft of the peopleâ€™s mandate.
â€œUnfortunately for them, we have so much capacity to resist any attempt to manipulate the forthcoming elections,â€ he said.
He noted that there is a plot to unleash violence on the state using SARS and other security agencies, so that the elections are not held alongside other states to pave the way for their rigging plan.
On the neighbourhood safety corps, he said the Police and other security agencies would be involved in the recruitment of operatives.
He wondered why some Rivers politicians derive pleasure in de-marketing the state, saying that they should re-direct their energies towards attracting projects to the state.
On the issue of soot, he regretted that the APC-led federal government and her agencies have politicised the issue as they have refused to work with the Rivers State Government to curb the menace.
â€œWe have been fighting with the federal government that the military must find refined ways to destroy illegal refineries. We are not in charge of security agencies. They take their orders from Abuja,â€ he said.
Earlier, the Leader of the CSOs of Rivers State, Mr. Sotonye George, commended Wike for fulfilling majority of his campaign promises.
He said CSOs of Rivers State would always partner with the government for the development of the state.