The Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has warned of looming danger if the Presidency does not allow the people of the state to freely elect their governor during the 2015 governorship election.
Stating that it was the inalienable right of the people to do so, the governor said his administration and the people would resist any such plan as it could throw the state into avoidable crisis.
Mr. Amaechi said this in a statement on Monday following media reports that the Presidency was perfecting plans to impose an unnamed politician on the state during the poll.
Media reports alleged at the weekend that the new Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Dan Bature, had been directed by the Presidency to install a certain Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial aspirant as governor in the 2015 elections.
The reports specifically stated that Mr. Bature was instructed by the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, who is an indigene of the state, to use the former Rivers police commissioner, Joseph Mbu’s draconian style and tactics in causing crisis in Rivers State.
According to the reports, the police officer was asked to tackle Mr. Amaechi, his supporters and Rivers people and then install the preferred candidate as governor.
The governor, in a statement by his media aide, David Iyofor, said while it was easy for a few in the Presidency to dismiss the reports, “We in Rivers State, with the benefit of hindsight and our collective recent bitter experience in the hands of former Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, who was also reported to have a similar mandate, cannot.”
The statement added, “The people of Rivers State will strongly and bravely resist any attempt by anyone or institutions, including The Presidency, to unconstitutionally install the preferred PDP aspirant as governor of the State, now or in the 2015 election.
“There is no provision in the Nigerian Constitution and laws for the ‘installation’ of a preferred aspirant as governor of a state by The Presidency. What our laws prescribe is a free and fair election that must be devoid of police and security forces coercion, harassment and intimidation of voters.
“Rivers voters must be allow to and will freely choose and elect their governor in the 2015 elections. It is their inalienable democratic right that they will not and will never surrender to anyone or institution, including The Presidency.
“We must warn that the looming danger ahead for our polity and our country is indeed ominous, if this noxious script is acted out. This is an avoidable crisis that must be avoided by all parties mentioned in the reports.”
The governor congratulated and welcomed Mr. Bature to the state and said, “We expect and hope that he would act professionally and would firmly resist any external influences and pressure to be politically biased and partisan in the discharge of his duties to Rivers people as police chief.
“We pray that God and his conscience guide him to do only what is constitutional, lawful, right, just and fair in the policing of Rivers State.”
The governor assured Rivers people that the government would remain vigilant in the build up to the 2015 elections.