The Rivers state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to allegations that the federal government was behind the recent verdicts at the Election Petition Tribunal in favour of the party.
In a statement, yesterday, November 1, Dr. Davies Ikanya, the state chairman of the APC, dismissed the claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), adding that it was necessary to put the record straight, This Day reports.
Ikanya said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the federal government has no hand whatsoever in the cases we are pursuing at the governorship, national and state houses of assembly tribunals across the state. It has become necessary for us to clear the air before this wicked lie being spread by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) takes root.
“Was there any election in Rivers state? If there was, was it conducted according to the rules? The European community and other international observers that condemned the conduct of the elections, are they APC members? The security agents that told the tribunal that the election was a sham, are they APC members? The respected jurists of the Supreme Court who threw away Wike’s infantile application to stop the Governorship Petition Election Tribunal, are they APC members?
“The PDP is suffering from a guilty conscience on account of its well-known connivance with the then PDP-led federal government under the watch of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to brazenly persecute APC and forcibly take over Rivers state.
“We are a civilised group and we will continue to pursue our case before the courts because litigation is part of the electoral process. God helping us, we shall triumph in Jesus’ name. By the grace of God, we shall be vindicated, if for nothing, at least for the sake of the over 100 APC members that were killed to install Wike as governor of River state.”
However, in a swift response, the PDP condemned the commencement of political campaign by the APC in the state.
In a statement yesterday, Simeon Nwakaudu, Wike’s special assistant on media, described the commencement of an election campaign by the APC as an act of self-delusion as the mandate freely given to him by Rivers people would be reaffirmed by the appellate process.
He said: “The mandate freely given to Governor Nyesom Wike by Rivers people will be reaffirmed by the appellate process.
“Contrary to the falsehood spread by Mr (Dakuku) Peterside during his illegal political campaign on Saturday, Governor Wike was duly elected by the people and has managed the resources of the state prudently, kick-starting an unprecedented development process which stands him out as the best governor in Nigeria today.
“It is public knowledge that the elected governor of Rivers state was compelled to take N30 billion loan because the immediate past APC administration in the state crippled her finances, left the state in huge debts with months of unpaid salaries, pensions, unpaid scholarships, abandoned projects and a disillusioned populace.
“It was through brilliant financial prudence that the governor kick-started the state’s economy damaged by the immediate past governor and the Rivers APC.
“Indeed, Rivers state is one of the states that did not take the two branches of the Federal Government bailout due to the Governor’s financial prudence and consideration for the future of the state’s economy.
“Some states took as much as N50b to stabilise their economies and struggle towards productivity. However, Governor Nyesom Wike has maintained Rivers State as a development centre where executions of projects have been the cornerstone stone in five months.”
“Rivers state is in safe hands and the people are enjoying the benefits of good governance after the ungodly locust years of Rivers State APC. The facts proved that the Rivers State APC suffered defeat during the governorship election. The tribunal judgment based on card reader accreditation and expunged hearsay allegations against named and un-named security agents and alleged political thugs will not stand the test of appeal.”
Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike, has stated that he is absolutely confident in the judiciary and assured people of the state that his mandate would be upheld in the course of the appeal process.
His remarks came after hundreds of market women stormed the streets of Port Harcourt to express their dissatisfaction with the tribunal’s ruling to annul the declaration of Wike as the winner of the April 11, 2015, gubernatorial poll.