Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has urged the people of the State not to vote for any party or candidates who do not mean well for the State and its development in the 2023 general election.
The governor stressed that Rivers people must vote wisely, and only for the party and candidates that love Rivers State and are ready to advance and defend its interest.
Governor Wike, who stated these in his 2023 new year broadcast in Port Harcourt on Saturday, said voters in the State must shun those candidates who would fail the State and neglect its aspirations.
This is as the Governor also took a swipe at Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was recently reported as saying that God will determine the next president of Nigeria, not G5 governors.
The G5 Governors, led by Wike, are PDP Governors who are fighting for justice, equity and fairness in their party and are insisting on the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as National Chairman of the PDP so that the position can go to someone from the Southern part of the country to balance the power equation in the party.
Reacting to Okowa’s comment without mentioning his name, Wike said, at the flag-off of the Ogbo- Ihugbodo Road in Ahoada East Local Government Area on Saturday, that he and his allies of the G5 group are never playing God as to determine who becomes the next president of Nigeria.
He stressed that those behind the statement should have known that God will not give power to the wicked.
“Don’t be treacherous in life because you want power. God will never give power to the wicked. Our hands are clean. We have not done anything wrong.
“All we are saying is, do things in a way all of us will have sense of belonging, that all of us will believe that we are together.
“That is all we are saying. If saying so is wrong, then let it be to God. But we know that it is good as right takes, let left take also.”
Speaking further during his 2023 new year broadcast, Wike reiterated that it is not in the character of his administration to interfere with or limit the constitutional rights of politicians and their parties to hold electioneering campaigns and canvass for votes across the length and breadth of the State.
“But we must be reminded that the laws and regulations restricting open political activities in public schools and residential areas are being implemented to prevent the destructive tendencies and public nuisance usually associated with such events when things go wrong.
“Ours is a State governed by laws, and no person, group, party, or association has the right to disobey the laws of the State managing campaign activities in public schools and expect us to keep quiet.
“Any political party or candidate that wishes to hold campaigns in public schools must comply with the law by simply securing the government’s approval after paying the required security deposit before the rally.”
Governor Wike said anyone or party with strong feelings against the legitimacy of the extant laws is free to approach the Courts for appropriate redress instead of deliberately misinterpreting their intendment and mounting unnecessary resistance to the authority of the Government to enforce the laws of the land meant for the protection of the public.
“Let it be known that no amount of threat of violence will dissuade us from enforcing these and other laws to keep Rivers State safe, peaceful and secure before, during and after the 2023 general elections.
“Consequently, any person, group, political party or association that dares the resolve of the government on this issue can only have their fingers badly burnt by the legal consequences of their ill-advised actions.”
Governor Wike acknowledged that 2022 was another challenging year for Nigeria and the generality of her people due to the dire economic situations that had prevailed for too long.
He however, noted that Rivers people and residents have every reason to thank God for the prevailing peace, the successes recorded by his administration, and the opportunity to look forward confidently to the promise of a new beginning with the New Year.
Further in his reaction to Okowa, Wike explained that members of the G5 believe in the omnipotence of God and always align their various affairs to such, which is why they keep getting stronger by the day.
He pointed out that the person who said that it is only God and not G5 governors who can decide who will be president seemed not to understand the background of members of the group.
“We are alive today, we are where we are because of God. Nobody can even breathe air if not God, not to talk of holding position. So, nobody can tell us that it is only God, we know that it is only God that gives power.
“But our prayer is that God, don’t allow those who will sell off Nigeria in the next one second to be in power. Our prayer is God, don’t allow anybody that you (people) will have an agreement with and in the next two minutes, the person will change (to have power).
“Our prayer is that almighty God will not allow those who will betray their brothers when they have agreed with their brothers to do something. God, may you never allow such people (to have power).”
Governor Wike also noted that the person said that there will be division among the G5, an expectation that had long been frustrated since May/June 2022.
“It has never worked, and it will never work in Jesus name. By sitting down to say that there will be division, I send back that prayer to you.
“I don’t want to discuss them. I have told people, allow the sleeping dog to lie. If you don’t allow sleeping dog to lie, you too will not sleep.”
The Rivers State governor also pointed to another person saying that they will handle members of the G5 when they have decided where to throw their support.
“These are the things that annoy us. Who is this person saying this? I heard them say that PDP is a responsible party. I agree. But they left PDP in 2014 against 2015, they left and made PDP to lose our election. Today, we are struggling to take over power from APC. Who are those who made us to lose this power?”
Commenting on the project, Governor Wike the Ogbo -Ihugbodo road is one of the many projects his administration has continued to deliver to restore Ahoada Town and the surrounding communities to what it used to be when it was a divisional headquarters.
The governor emphasised that it is already established that he is creating an unbeatable record as an administration in Nigeria that will continue to deliver democratic dividend until the last day of his tenure.
Governor Wike stated that the jealousy expressed by some detractors is because of the capacity he has continued to demonstrate in governance, combining delivery of projects and attending to issues of governance with none suffering.
He threw a challenge to those who feel jealous to also show capacity and combine project flag-off, inauguration and governance simultaneously if they can.