- Govt accuses Amaechi, army of targeting PDP members for arrest
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that there is no way the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could lose the governorship and state Houses Assembly elections because the people of the state are firmly with the party.
This is coming as the state government has accused Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, and the 6 Division of Nigerian Army of masterminding the mass arrest of innocent Nigerians and prominent PDP members in the State ahead of the elections.
Speaking during a town hall meeting with leaders of Rivers East senatorial district in Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike charged the people not to be intimidated by soldiers as they have a duty to vote for him and other PDP candidates on Saturday.
He declared that the governorship and State Assembly elections would be used to “end the illegal activities of the political monster of Rivers State”.
He said: “There is no way that the PDP will lose Rivers State and they tell the world that the elections are free and fair. Even if we want to play politics, how would they explain it to the international community that PDP lost to an unknown party that did not campaign?
“How many soldiers will they deploy to implement the rigging? I am not worried about their bringing more troops from Sokoto and Kafanchan, God is our security. During the presidential and National Assembly elections, they struggled for 25 percent, but they did not get it.”
The governor said Rivers State has passed the stage where a “failed politician will direct the people on who to vote three days to the election,” adding that nobody will play God in Rivers State
“Nobody should be afraid come out and vote for the PDP. Your votes will be counted. Your votes will be protected”.
He said the illegal arrests by the military would not stop the victory of the PDP during the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
“If they arrest 2,000 persons, they will see more 10, 000. Our people should be security conscious about their movement because these people are very desperate,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, a former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia said everything about the election has gone smoothly for Rivers PDP because of the involvement of God. He said that the PDP will emerge victorious on March 9, 2019.
He said that the people of Rivers State are solidly behind Wike and other PDP candidates.
Meanwhile, the state government has accused Amaechi, and the GOC of 6 Division, Nigeria Army of masterminding the mass arrest of innocent Nigerians and prominent PDP members in the State.
A statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Emma Okah, said, “The essence of the arrests is to precipitate crisis and cause the INEC to postpone the elections in Rivers State. Failing this, the minister will use the vacuum created by the absence of arrested leaders and rig the governorship election and force a candidate of his choice against the will of the people.”
He said the arrest of the state Commissioner for Education, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, and his family by soldiers yesterday evening in Port Harcourt confirmed the fears.
He said the Minister of Transportation has been commanding the army in Port Harcourt to do unprofessional things and that the crisis was spreading.
He also accused the minister of having boasted that he has brought soldiers from Sokoto and other states to carry out his political agenda of disrupting or rigging elections on Saturday.
He listed those pencilled down for arrest to include, Omehia; former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Austin Opara; state PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah; former Chairman of UBA, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba; Senator Olaka Nwogu; Chief Sergeant Awuse; Senator Lee Maeba; former Sports Minister, Dr. Tammy Danagogo; and former Transport Minister, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, among several others.