The governorship candidate of the All progressives Congress, APC, in the April 11 governorship election, Dakuku Peterside, has assured his supporters that the current governor of the state would soon be removed legally.
Mr. Peterside lost the governorship election to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Nyesom Wike. He has, however, approached the state governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja with a petition asking for the cancelation of the results.
Mr. Peterside and his party, the APC, claim voting did not take place in most parts of Rivers during the last election.
Addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt on Sunday, Mr. Peterside said he had faith that the judiciary would upturn the election of Mr. Wike, who has since May 29 been sworn in as governor.
He accused the PDP government of impunity and use of brute force since coming to power.
He said since its creation, no government in Rivers State has “contaminated” the state’s political and moral environment like the Wike-led government has done, starting from the campaign era to the present.
He also said no government had been characterized by “dishonesty, self-inflicted credibility problems, violence and vendetta” like the current administration.
“No government that chooses this path can earn the trust of the people. This is the reason why no responsible elder or founding father of the state wants to be associated with this government,” he said.
Mr. Peterside, however, assured the people that all would be over soon.
“Let us with continuing, unwavering faith in the True God and confidence in our judicial institutions, trust that we shall soon see the end of this era of impunity, directionlessness and crass disregard for the rights of our people and the constitution of our nation.
“Regardless of the darkness that has enveloped our state, we know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we vow to leave no stone unturned until our people have reached their well-deserved Eldorado,” he said.
Mr. Peterside expressed concern that there is too much dishonesty on the path of the government to hoodwink Rivers people.
“For instance, allegations of empty coffers is a spurious tale as even Mr. Wike by his own admission has been announcing various funds that he located in different government accounts.
“His false claim of using Julius Berger for the refilling of pot holes when what he has been using are local contractors and paying them peanuts. His use of the Berger name was simply a red herring to enable him to loot public funds,” he said.
The APC candidate said six weeks after assuming office, Mr. Wike is yet to make any single policy statement, rather, he said, the governor appointed the Nimi Walson Jack committee to design a blueprint for the running of government after it had taken off.
A move, he said, suggests “we have the case of a rudderless state manned by persons whose only bond to the state is to siphon away our resources”.
He also accused Mr. Wike of the pursuit of vendetta against individuals, chasing of shadows and brazen impunity against the long-term interest of the state, as well as an obvious “lack of commitment to the development of Rivers State”.
He cited the example of the current security situation in the state, which, he said, has continued to deteriorate with criminality promoted at the expense of the safety of the people.
“Kidnapping and armed robbery are now rooted and government is doing nothing,” he said.
Mr. Peterside also accused Mr. Wike of poor understanding of public finance and questionable management of public funds with his recent decision to borrow N30 billion in 30 days.
The former federal lawmaker also accused the Rivers governor of Illegally dissolving state institutions created by the constitution with tenured security.
“Ready examples include the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, Local Government Service Commission, Civil Service Commission and the Rivers State House of Assembly Commission,” he said.
Mr. Peterside said there is currently a high proliferation of arms in Rivers state with too many guns and small arms in the state “with Government looking on and doing nothing, giving criminals a free rein”.
He said he had hopes that the Rivers government would take a cue from the Buhari administration, adding however that, “it is becoming obvious by the day that the Wike government does not intend to tow the path of honour and statesmanship and therefore does not deserve the trust of Rivers people”.
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