The embattled Rivers State
Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that despite the ruling of the State Election Petitions Tribunal, he will complete his four-year tenure as the chief executive of the state.
Wike also expressed optimism that he would eventually emerge victorious at the end and would continue to retain his position as the governor of the state.
The governor, who was speaking to a crowd that gathered for a thanksgiving service at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt on Sunday, said the thanksgiving service was significant, adding that he would not have become a governor if the enemies’ plans had worked.
Calling on his supporters to be calm, Wike described the nullification of his election by the tribunal as an indication that justice would eventually be for him and his supporters in due course.
The governor’s public remark at the event was the third since the annulment of his election on Saturday, having earlier addressed the people through a state-wide broadcast on Sunday.
He expressed surprise that the All Progressives Congress in the state was celebrating over the annulment of his election after condemning the ruling of the tribunal against its senatorial candidates.
“We will win and I will complete my four years tenure as the governor of Rivers State. The thanksgiving service today is very significant because if what enemies planned had work, I wouldn’t have been governor today.
“The nullification of my election by tribunal sitting in Abuja shows that justice is ours. I am surprised that some people are celebrating over the judgement, when they described the judgement against their candidates at the National Assembly as judicial 419.
“It is now that they have confidence in judiciary. In spite of the judgement, we still have hope in the judiciary. I want to beg you, don’t be provoked; I know what happened at the weekend is provoking. But, I know what their plans are; that was why I am begging you to be calm,” Wike said.
Making a veiled reference to the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Wike added, “I was a minister in this country and I was given the highest responsibility. And today, some people are struggling to be a minister; and they are celebrating to be a minister as if nobody has been a minister in this state.”
Earlier, the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Felix Obuah, had appealed to party supporters not to be afraid, but be strong and bold despite the outcome of Saturday’s verdict by the state elections petitions tribunal.
Describing the ruling as a pre-determined judgement, Obuah urged the PDP supporters, who streamed to the Obi Wali Conference to put their trust in God, maintaining that the verdict of the tribunal was the beginning of their (PDP supporters’) glory.
“Wike is the man and Rivers State is a PDP state. We are still in charge. Chief Wike is still the governor of Rivers State and he will continue to be the governor till four years. Don’t be afraid; just be strong, believe in God. We will at the end get judgment that will favour us,” he said.
Earlier in a state-wide broadcast, Wike had condemned the judgement of the state election petitions tribunal, based on the non-usage of the card reader.
“Apart from the reported malfunctioning of the card readers supplied by the Independent National Electoral Commission, which placed no advantage on any of the contestants, the election took place throughout the state and was adjudged both by local and international observers to be largely peaceful, transparent, free, fair and credible.
“It is common knowledge that INEC’s card readers malfunctioned throughout the country in the 2015 general elections. It is also common knowledge that wherever the card reader malfunctioned, manual accreditation, which is the only process, recognised by the current Electoral Act, was used to accredit voters all over the country.”