BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – As the people of Edo State head to the poll in less than 24 hours to elect who governs them in the next four years, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says President Muhammadu Buhari will write his name in gold by making Saturday’s election a model in peaceful conduct, as well as being free and credible.
He said: “Everyone that loves this country should ensure that tomorrow’s election is credible, free and fair”, insisting that the President must lead by example.
In a statement by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, the governor said the poll outcome would provide hope for Nigeria’s general elections in 2023
Speaking in a live television programme in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, Governor Wike also charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, particularly the Police to demonstrate that they can conduct and support credible elections in the country.
For him, it is important that INEC ensures the “result sheets are not in the hands of individuals. Security agencies should not whisk away collation officers and later bring them back with cooked results.
“Manipulation of the electoral process causes violence. No politician will cause violence if the police and INEC do not compromise.”
Wike, who is chairs the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for the poll, is optimistic that a high turnout of voters will be recorded tomorrow because the people are prepared to end ‘godfatherism’.
The Rivers governor urged Edo people to be vigilant and protect their votes “because enemies of the state are planning to truncate your will.”
On his reaction to the recent visa restrictions imposed by the United States, Governor Wike said, “I hail the United States and the United Kingdom for the visa ban placed on election riggers.
“They should publish their names so that a lot of things will change in our electoral process.’
According to him, “Election rigging is worse than armed robbery. So whatever sanctions that can be imposed will be welcomed by the PDP.”