STATE BROADCAST BY HIS EXCELLENCY, NYESOM EZENWO WIKE, CON, TO THANK THE PEOPLE OF RIVERS STATE ON THE DECEMBER 10 2016 NATIONAL AND STATE ASSEMBLIES’ RE-RUN ELECTIONS.
My dear people of Rivers State
We wish to most sincerely thank you all for your enthusiasm and participation in the just concluded re-run legislative elections in the State despite the many troubles you had to go thns.
2. We appreciate you all for your courage and determined effort to defend your votes and ensure that you exercise your democratic rights to freely elect your representatives at the National and State Assemblies in the face of the malicious intimidation and obvious threat to your personal security.
3. We know that most of you are clearly unhappy with the manner the election process was brazenly maneuvered with federal might to undeservedly return some candidates at all cost, but we still have to thank God Almighty and give Him the glory for the outcome, because it could have been far worse.
4. They ignored us when we drew their attention to the persistent abuse of public office by Mr. Stephen Hasso, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations and CSP Akin Fakorede, the Commander, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), and the threat they posed to the peaceful conduct of the re-run elections.
5. They accused us of raising unnecessary alarms when we cried aloud over their devilish plans to use the federally-controlled SARS to disenfranchise our people and manipulate the re-run election process towards achieving some pre-arranged outcomes against the will of the people.
6. Today, we have clearly and eloquently been vindve clearly and eloquently been vindicated. Despite the unprecedented deployment of over 28,000 police personnel, three helicopters and 20 gun boats for the re-run elections, we all witnessed how Stephen Hasso, Akin Fakorede and their gang of marauders took direct and complete control of the election process from INEC in the Rivers South-East Senatorial District, as well as in Ikwerre, Emouha and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas, and left unimaginable trails of mayhem, shootings, maiming and killing of innocent people.
7. Indeed, never in our history have Rivers people been so physically, mentally and psychologically brutalized, traumatized and denied their rights to freely and fairly elect our leaders by shameless gangs of hired, power-drunk, trigger-happy and irresponsible security officers and their political collaborators.
8. Unfortunately, the brazen subversion of our democratic rights that took place on the 10th of December 2016, was carefully planned and orchestrated by some highly-placed and desperate politicians from the State in concert with the Governors of Bauchi, Benue, Kano and Plateau States, who reportedly bankrolled the plan with the sum of one billion naira each, at a time they cannot pay salaries of civil servants, let alone embark on development projects in their States.
9. If Rivers people could be visited with such a despicably high degree of violence, mayhem and killings by some renegade military and SARS operatives with impunity just to rescue the dying political fortunes of the All Peoples Congress in a mere legislative re-run elections, then we can now begin to imagine what is likely to happen in the State when the political stakes would be very much higher in 2019.
10. Nigeria often prides itself as a beacon of democracy and quickly congratulates other African countries for successful democratic elections and political transitions. Yet, the painful irony is that we are still unable to guarantee the minimum rights of our citizens to free, fair and credible electoral processes at home. What a shame!!
11. We most sincerely sympathize with the families of all those that were deliberately and coldly murdered by the SARS operatives during the ill-fated re-run elections in the State and pray for the peaceful repose of their innocent souls.
12. Information available to us indicate that CSP Mr. Akin Fakorede, who was caught on camera physically brutalizing a female electoral officer is currently being debriefed by the police high command in Abuja. However, we do not have confidence in what they are doing neither do we expect that the victims of Mr. Akin’s brutality will ever get justice from the police authorities given the levity with which they treated and bungled the case against those that were arrested in Port Harcourt while printing results sheets with which to rig the re-run elections.
13. Once again, we thank you all for your unflinching support and love, and most especially, our revered religious leaders, for your sacrifice, fasting and continuous prayers, which were unquestionably responsible for the prevailing peace, security and progress in the State.
14. We wish to assure you of our continued reverence and readiness to partner with the Church and the people of God to defend our God-given rights and freedoms and move the State forward at any cost.
15. Thank you so very much and may God continue to bless our dear Rivers State.