Free, fair 2023 polls: Wike worried over Buhari, INEC’s will to keep promises

September 1, 2022
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Says APC doomed under free, fair election

By Egufe Yafugborhi

PORT HARCOURT—GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, expressed worry whether President Muhammadu Buhari and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, would keep their promises to ensure that 2023 witnesses free and fair elections.

Wike, during the flag-off of state project for construction of Igwuruta internal roads in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state, stressed that unless the president and INEC fail to keep to their promised roles of ensuring free and smooth elections, the All Progressives Congress, APC, was doomed for poor performance.

He stated: “I thank Mr. President that he wants to leave a legacy of conducting a free and fair election. Thank God, Mr. President for saying he will not interfere or intimidate anybody. That means his party has no way of winning.

“My problem is INEC, whether they will do what they said they will do. They are making promises now. I don’t know whether they will keep to it. If INEC will keep to the promises that Nigeria will get a better election, I will be so happy. Everybody will see, Abuja does not vote. It is the people here that will vote.”

In his charge to those seeking 2023 votes from Rivers electorate, the governor said: “So, if you have given to Adamawa, you have given to Benue, you have given to Delta, would you not give Rivers? Is it just to collect our votes?”

On concerns over lingering failure to check Boko Haram in the country, he reasoned: “Some people threatened they are former generals, they are close to the CIA in America and they can deal with us. I said listen, no problem. 

“If you are close to America CIA, why don’t you use it to solve Boko Haram problem. Is it on my body (me) you’ll use it? Nigeria has a serious problem and you are close to CIA, you know them as former generals, why not use that contact to solve Nigeria’s problem.

“You want to use it to threaten me. Who are you that I should come and do your biddings? I say no to that. I will do the biddings of Nigerians not the biddings of few people, who believe that if they are not there, it should be their children.

“No other child should come up outside them. I will not do that. So, all of us, prepare because a day shall come and Rivers State shall take a decision on what to do.”

He referred to an unnamed self-acclaimed leader from the South-South placing personal gain above the region’s common good, Wike wondered, “What will they tell their children? 

“People who will like to eat their share, eat their children’s share and eat their grandchildren’s share. When somebody at the age of 70 and still lobbying to be Chief of Staff, what will his own children lobby for?”

Abia State’s Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who performed the project flag-off relished the “unparalleled leadership style and courage” Governor Wike has wielded in providing enduring infrastructure for Rivers people.

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