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Election Petition Tribunal judgement: Wike dissociates self from negative media comments

Gov. Nyesom Wike
Gov. Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has dissociated himself from all negative statements regarding the recent nullification of his election as Governor of Rivers State attributed to him by the media.

The Governor stated this Friday at the Government House Banquet Hall, Port Harcourt, while addressing Rivers State Stakeholders.

“In the past two days you may have read on the front pages of newspapers where it was said that I used terms like ‘Judicial terrorism’ and ‘Judicial gang up’. I never said so. I never authorized anybody to speak on my behalf as far as that issue is concerned. When we had our thanksgiving last Sunday, I did say that we must not cast aspersions. People should control themselves and know that if you believe in God, you have nothing to fear,” Governor Wike admonished.

Governor Wike explained that people reacted to the court ruling in different ways and that if one is dissatisfied with a particular ruling he or she could go to the Court of Appeal to seek redress, that even the All Progressives Congress, APC, members had appealed the National Assembly ruling that was not in their favour.

He also explained that the paragraphs on crime and violence which the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal used as part of the grounds to nullify his election has been finally expunged by the Court of Appeal.

Governor Wike remarked that seeking redress in the Election Petition Tribunal is part of the democratic process, and urged everybody to be calm, law abiding and go about their normal businesses because there is hope.

The State Chief Executive exhorted all traditional rulers to maintain peace in their respective domains.

The Governor remarked that the spate of kidnappings and other vices happening in the state were because the state had received new security chiefs such as the new Commissioner of Police, Director of State Security Services, Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders who are yet to master the terrain of Rivers State.

He said they should be supported with vital information when and where necessary because they cannot achieve it without God’s help.

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council, the Amayanabo of Opobo, King Dandison Jaja said that maintaining peace across Kingdoms was the responsibility of traditional rulers and is also a “God given assignment“ .

He remarked that many traditional rulers are ICT compliant and can now access information from the social media and also from other media channels like newspapers.

Former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo said that since Governor Wike was sworn in as governor there has been peace in Rivers State.

“We, the people of Rivers State, have a duty to stay together and protect the interest of the state,” he said.

Also speaking, the former National President of the Nigerian Bar Association, O.C.J. Okocha, said the ordinary man in the street had seen a difference since Governor Wike resumed office last May, but warned him not to take chances because in litigation anything could happen and the opposition was not resting on its oars.

He also explained that Judicial decisions or court rulings can be criticized so long as the character or personality of the judge is not impugned.

“No human being is infallible and in Nigeria, a lot of things can be ascribed to infallibility. There is honest and sincere infallibility. There is also infallibility that is mischievous,” Okocha explained.

Barrister Okocha urged Governor Wike to go ahead with his vision for Rivers State because he had the mandate of the people and to also go on to appoint persons who would help him realize his objectives.

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