Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has decried the inability of the country to conduct credible elections after several years of practicing democracy.
The governor has also instituted a N100 million empowerment programme for Wakirike women from Okrika and Ogu/Bolo Local Government Areas, for stoutly defending Rivers mandate during the 2019 elections.
Wike spoke yesterday, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, during a solidarity visit by the leaders and people of Okrika and Ogu/Bolo LGAs.
He said: “It is unfortunate that up till now, we cannot conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria.
“It is unfortunate that the giant of Africa, lacks the capacity to conduct credible elections”, he complained. He commended the Wakirike women for defending the state mandate against the invading soldiers, and urged Rivers people to always ensure that their votes count during elections.
“At all times, continue to defend and protect the Rivers mandate”, he said. Governor Wike said that out of the N100 million meant for the empowerment programme for the courageous women of Wakirike ethnic nationality, N50 million has been reserved for Okrika LGA and N50 million for Ogu/Bolo LGA.
The governor commended Wakirike people for maintaining peace in the area, saying that his administration would fulfill key developmental pledges to them. Wike stated that he would extend electricity to Okrika LGA and work towards the construction of the jetty at Isaka.
The governor further noted that he would link Ogu and Wakama communities as he promised during his campaign.
He added that the next phase of Okochiri internal roads would be completed by his administration.
On the Okrika Grammar School, Governor Wike urged the leaders of the area to write to the Anglican Church for the school to be released to the state government for total reconstruction. He reiterated his respect for traditional rulers, saying that they were under obligation to promote the culture of Rivers people.
“We must always promote our tradition and culture. I have respect for traditional rulers. All I say is that we should promote our own culture”, he said.
In an address on behalf of the Wakirike Ethnic Nationality, Senator George Sekibo said that they were at the Government House to congratulate the governor on his well deserved victory at the polls.
He praised Governor Wike for the key appointments to Wakirike ethnic nationality, the projects executed in the area and the recognition and upgrading of traditional rulers’ stools of the people.
He urged the governor to reach out to the Wakirike women who courageously defended Rivers votes, despite the deployment of soldiers.
He said: “It is consequent upon this conviction that we, the Wakirike people, especially our women, put our pride and our lives on the line to defend our votes”.
Earlier, former Minister of Transport, Abiye Sekibo, said that the Wakirike people did not expect anything less than a victory for Governor Wike during the last elections.
He expressed happiness that Wike has confidence in the Wakirike people; hence, most of their leaders were his close confidants. Sekibo lauded the governor for his friendship to the Wakirike nation.