Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on the Federal Government to address massive electoral irregularities, rather than focus on fighting hate speech.
Governor Wike said although he respects President Muhammadu Buhari, “the truth remains that the current administration has failed Nigerians, through lack of meaningful projects delivery.”
The governor, who spoke during a thanksgiving service for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates of Rivers South East senatorial district, on Sunday, at the All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Bori, said Rivers people will resist any attempt to rig the 2019 elections.
“Whether it is the Nigerian Army or Police, what happened during the rerun will not happen in 2019. We cannot fold our hands. God has given us the opportunity to defend ourselves.
“I have respect for the president. He is the president of all Nigerians and not of a political party. But, the country is stagnant. There is no development going on.
“All you are hearing about the fight against corruption is a mere survival trick by a non-performing government. The only story they have is former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison Madueke. Even that story will soon end.”
The governor vowed to continue to say the truth whether or not the Federal Government defines it as hate speech. According to him, hate speech is used to suppress the ability of the people to resist the evils of the Federal Government.
Commenting on projects in Ogoniland, Governor Wike said his administration has kept his promise to the people. He assured them that more projects will be delivered in the next two years. Earlier, Senator Olaka Nwogu, who spoke on behalf of the PDP candidates, said if elections in the area were based on the results from the field, PDP would have won all the seats. He regretted that violence and deaths were visited on the people by the security forces as they stole the mandate of the people.
Nwogu declared that the communities of the district have endorsed Governor Wike for a second term on the strength of his performance and projects.
In his sermon, Anglican Bishop of Ogoni Diocese, Rev. Solomon Gberegbara,said it is the will of God that people should prosper and be liberated.
The service attracted PDP leaders from the local government areas of the senatorial district.
Meanwhile, three PDP governors in the South-South region, Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State), Wike (Rivers State) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa-Ibom State) yesterday met in Asaba, Delta State and resolved to revive the BRACED commission.
BRACED is an acronym of the names of the six states of the South-South geo-political zone, including Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta. The commission was formed to foster economic development and integration of the oil-rich region.
But, BRACED has been docile since the new set of governors took over in 2015, hence the latest move by the three governors to revive it.
Meanwhile, while observers believed the meeting was a political move, the governors told newsmen that it was not about politics rather they had an economic and security based discussion.
Governor Emmanuel, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said governors of the South-South region were passionate about reviving the docile BRACED commission to serve the aim of its creation.
He said the issue of insecurity also occupied front burner during the meeting, noting that the state executives in the region were looking at ways to fortify security to sustain oil production.
“On behalf of all our colleagues from the South-South region, we just came together to discuss few economic issues and how we can revive the BRACED commission.
“And also, we looked at how we can try and fortify security network especially now that the oil prices are a little bit epileptic, we need to make sure we maintain production.
“We are looking at how we can be united and tackle insecurity to maintain that level of oil production without necessarily jeopardising our responsibilities to our people.
“Those are just few issues we looked at, mainly the BRACED commission which is a vision we don’t want to abandon.
“It is a good economic platform for the entire region to look at those areas of common economic interest so that we can also foster economic growth,” he said.
Udom insisted that the meeting was purely for economic and security reasons and not political, adding that all political discussions are better done at the party headquarters.
“We could not have come here to discuss politics, you know our party is running now on a turbo cylinder, so if it politics, we will go to party headquarters,” he stated and entered into a waiting car with Governor Wike.