Port Harcourt—The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council has appealed to the people of Rivers State to pray for Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
It will be recalled that Wike had urged the people of the state not to vote for any political party or candidate who does not mean well for the state and its development in the 2023 general election.
The state chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Senator Lee Maeba, in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday, stated that the governor needs the prayers of the people now than ever before.
The statement reads in part:
“As we return all gratitude to the Almighty God for granting us life into a new year, I urge you all to stand on the right side of history as you remain consistent and resolute in maintaining the democratic history of our dear State by voting massively for the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, His Excellencies Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in the February 25th presidential elections.
“At the same time, I beseech you all to pray for the governor of our dear state, Chief Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as you all know that he needs our prayers now than ever before.”
Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has said 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.
Wike, who disclosed this in a statewide New Year broadcast, said voters in the state must shun those candidates who would fail the state and neglect its aspirations.
The governor reiterated it was 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.
He said: “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.”
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.
The governor said: “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.”
He 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.
The governor, 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.
He declared that governing Rivers State had been a mixed bag of challenges, excitement and fulfilment since 2015, saying that at the onset, his administration inherited challenges that looked frightening and overwhelming.
The governor said with the expected seamless succession in the governance of the state in 2023, people of the state can be more hopeful for the continuity that is needed to consolidate the progress on the concrete foundations already laid that would take Rivers State to the next level of sustainable peace, security, development and prosperity.
He stated that his administration has worked hard with the security agencies to keep Rivers State peaceful, safe and secure throughout 2022, adding that the state government spared no effort, resources or commitment to achieve the peace and sense of security everyone now enjoys.
Wike said: “Going around the State, we can see several private and public investment projects in Port Harcourt and other places, indicative of the healthy state of our economy, investors’ increasing confidence and the economic benefits derived from the modern infrastructures we have provided, which has no equal across the country.
“It is barely five months for us to exit the stage for our successor, but our commitment to more project delivery and better the lots of our people is still strong.
“I assure you, therefore, that we shall endeavour to complete almost all ongoing projects, including the ones now being flagged-off, before the end of our tenure.”