Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to disrupt elections in the state because its candidates are not on the ballot.

In a state broadcast Thursday, Wike said he was aware of plans by the APC to violently disrupt elections in the state on account of their names not being on the ballot.

He alleged that he was aware that some chieftains of the APC had mobilised thugs with N10 million to attack voters and disrupt the voting exercise in Ikwerre Local Government Area.

The governor called on the party to accept the judgment of the Supreme Court as implemented by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and refrain from anything that would disrupt the peace in the state.

Wike said: “Truth be told, the Supreme Court has spoken. INEC has confirmed. It is the will of God. There is always another day, and as political leaders, we must have the courage to accept the reality, know when to stop fighting for nothing and tell our followers the simple truth, even if it may sound bitter. I would therefore advise my brothers in the APC to endeavour to put their house in order, allow the prevailing peace to continue and prepare for 2023.

“If you choose to destroy the state or kill and maim everybody because of power or someone else’s ambition to be president, there may be no one left for you to lord over when everyone is dead.

“Remember, the army and the police officers you are relying on to kill your own people may come and go, but Rivers State will always be. Believe it or not, we are all from this state irrespective of party differences, and no other interest can supersede the collective interest of our state.”

The governor also said his office had been inundated with reports of the partisan activities of the key officers of the army and the police in the state “who have signed on to unlawfully deploy military and SARS operatives to actualise the APC plot to destabilise the state and create avoidable crisis in the state.”

He appealed to the chairman of the National Council on Peace, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police (IG) to prevail on the two partisan security chiefs to excuse themselves from participating in the elections in the state.

Wike said: “I appeal to the Chairman of the National Council on Peace, General Abdusalam Abubakar; the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and the acting Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, to prevail on Major General Jamil Sarham and Mr. Akin Fakorede to excuse themselves from election duties in the state.”

He said the rescheduled general election presents a golden opportunity for Rivers people to partake with the rest of Nigerians to move the country forward and shape a brighter future for posterity.

According to him, “No sacrifice is too much to pay to sustain our democracy. God loves us and there can be no better opportunity for us to use the power at our disposal to effect the genuine change that we need.

“We should therefore be profoundly inspired and motivated by the frustrations of the postponement of the election to come out in numbers to vote for the candidates of our choice.

“God forbid, the next generation will not forgive us if we fail to take full advantage of the political momentum to reposition our state for greatness in the comity of states.”