Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, at the weekend said he expected the confirmation of his re-election by the Supreme Court, because the defeated governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Mr. Biokpomabo Awara, could not have won an election he did not contest.
The Supreme Court, on Friday, upheld Wike’s victory in the March 9 gubernatorial election.
The Apex Court, in a judgment delivered by a panel of three Justices, upheld Wike’s appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal, which reinstated the petition of the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) Biokpomabo Awara.
The Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal had earlier in October dismissed the petition of AAC candidate, Awara, declaring Wike winner of the poll, which was later challenged by the AAC candidate at the Court of Appeal.
But speaking shortly after the Supreme Court judgment, Wike said from the very beginning, there was no issue, because the AAC Candidate posed no problem since he was unknown to Rivers people.
He said he only got to know of Awara about two days to the election, because such a person never existed in the political artery of the state.
“I expected the confirmation, because the law is clear. The man who is challenging us never contested any election, so he could not have won. It is so painful, but what do you do?
“It is part of life. If he really ran election with us, one can say there could be a problem. A man that I never knew till a few days to the election, how would it have been that the man won the election? So, I expected that the Court would do the right thing, which they did.”
Expressing confidence in the capacity of the Judiciary to always act in the best interest of the nation’s democracy, Wike said even though nobody expected perfection, the Judiciary has continued to perform her constitutional responsibilities.
“We give God all the glory. Some of us have confidence in the judiciary, even though you can’t expect perfection. That does not mean that they have not done well. So, I am happy what happened on Friday at the Supreme Court.
“We give God all the glory that all through He has been on our side for us to continue to do what we are supposed to do for the people of Rivers State. God has given us the opportunity to deliver more dividends of democracy according to the will of Rivers people.”
Wike said his training as a lawyer has helped him to promote the rule of law, which is the cornerstone of good governance, at all times.
He said: “You don’t talk of governance but you talk of rule of law. When people talk about governance, we talk about accountability. You can’t talk about all these things without adhering to the tenets of the rule of law. So, my training as a lawyer gives me the background that I must follow due process. What the law says, you must adhere, whether it is against you or not.
“The rule of law is very much the back bone of getting to the root of democracy. So, as a lawyer, I feel happy that it has helped me, moulded me, and as my back bone to say, ‘look, you have to do what is right.”
He said the relative security being enjoyed in the state was a product of investment of the State Government and the contributions of all stakeholders.
“It has to do with collective efforts of every stakeholder – the security agencies and the people. If the people are not with you, it will be difficult for you to try to curb insecurity. If the security agencies are not willing to fight insecurity, it will be difficult because one, I am not a security personnel.
“Mine is to give the necessary logistics to see that they curb this miscreants to the point that they will know that here is not comfortable for them and this is what the security agencies are doing.
“After the 2019 general election, the security agencies in the state have been working with us. The synergy is so tight. That is why we are achieving what we achieving. It is not a one man show,” he said.