Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
In every disappointment, there is a blessing. That is the way Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike wanted the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) national to look at the withdrawal of permission to use the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium for its presidential campaign. According to Wike, the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council should be grateful to his administration for saving them the shame of facing a scanty stadium on rally day.
He also clarified that the Rivers State government cancelled approval given for the use of Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council in order to safeguard the facility from vandalism.
The governor gave the clarification at the flag-off rally of the Rivers State PDP campaign for Degema Local Government Area that held at Agri Field in Degema town on Thursday.
Governor Wike described the claim that Rivers State government does not want PDP Presidential Campaign Council to campaign in the State as erroneous, since the State had earlier given approval to the party to use the Stadium at no cost.
“Don’t say we stop them from holding rally, we didn’t. They applied to me and I gave (Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium) to them. They now went back and began to meet with the faction of the opposition, and you know that opposition has never held any rally without violence.
“And I said I cannot joke with Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium. Since we have this intelligence we will not allow it. Did anybody force us to give them before? Are we not the ones who gave them? Did they pay money? Go and see the place. I know they are happy because they know there is no way they can fill that stadium. Instead of them to say thank God for covering our shame.”
He declared that the unit by unit mobilisation of voters adopted by the PDP in the State is one of the strategies that will make it difficult for security agencies to rig the 2023 general election in the State.
The governor maintained that electorate will participate in the forthcoming election with unit by unit mobilisation, which will ensure that every votes count.
Because people will vote, governor Wike insisted that, security agencies would find it difficult to rig election in where the voters will be mindful to protect their votes.
“This election is going to be by mobilisation. It’s not like before when anybody will go and bring soldiers to carry election materials. Now, election will be based on physical human beings. Votes must count now.”
Governor Wike also said that his administration has delivered several development projects in the area in appreciation of the support Degema people have given to the PDP since 1999.
The governor stressed that his administration promised to execute phase one of the Trans-Kalabari Road, which has begun and construction work has progressed tremendously. According to the governor, the commissioning of the first phase is planned for February 2023.
Governor Wike assured that when his successor, Sir Siminialayi Fubara assumes office when elected, he will pay attention to starting the phase two of the Trans-Kalabari Road and reconstructing educational facility in Degema town among other life touching projects.
The governor therefore, urged Degema people to vote for Fubara and his running mate, Prof. Ngozi Odu, who will continue with the current development strides of his administration and consolidate on the gains.
In his address, Rivers State governorship candidate of PDP, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, appealed to voters in Degema Local Government area to vote for him and all PDP candidates to win the forthcoming election.
Fubara assured that when elected, his administration will pay attention to issues of rural electrification and security in the area in order to make living pleasurable for them.
The PDP governorship candidate spoke of his wealth of experience in governance and administration, which has given him edge over candidates of other political parties in the administration of the State.
On behalf of the State chairman of PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, his deputy, Hon. Chukwuemeka Aaron presented the party’s flag to candidates of the party contesting various positions in the forthcoming election in the area.
Speaking on behalf of the candidates, the Deputy governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is also the candidate for Rivers West Senatorial District, said Degema people have assured that they will deliver winning votes for all PDP candidates in the area.
After the campaign rally, governor Wike took a ride on the entire stretch of the first phase of the Trans-Kalabari Road to inspect the progress of work done from Krakrama to Augulama. The project is billed for inauguration this February 2023.
However, the Atiku Presidential Campaign Council responded that the cancellation for Stadium permit was because Wike “is scared of massive acceptance of Atiku Abubakar in Rivers.”