Tony John, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has condemned the brazen attack on his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayodele Fayose, by the Nigeria Police, saying that the attack was an affront on the inalienable rights of the people of Ekiti to a peaceful, free, fair and credible election.
In a press conference, on Wednesday night, at the Government House, Port Harcourt , Governor Wike said that Governor Ayo Fayose was lucky to escape with his life after he was battered by the policemen on the orders of the Presidency.
He called on Rivers people to be prepared to defend their mandates in 2019 as the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would apply the same technique on all the states.
He said: “I, therefore, join well-meaning Nigerians to condemn this brazen attack on the inalienable rights of the people of Ekiti State to a peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in the strongest possible terms and warn the perpetrators of the grave danger such actions pose to the survival of our democracy.
“I wish to also draw the attention of the people of Rivers State to the fact that what is happening at Ekiti State is clearly a foretaste of what the APC-led Federal Government has planned to unleash in our state and indeed, the entire country, in their desperate attempt to rig 2019 general elections and retain or return to power having performed woefully and lost the support of the generality of Nigerians.
“As a matter of fact, people did not quite believe me when I told the world that the APC-led Federal Government has plans to assassinate me to enable them capture Rivers State because they know they have no electoral foothold in the state.
“Today, the whole world has seen how Governor Ayo Fayose was barely lucky to have escaped the State-sponsored attempt at his life with a fractured hand and bruised face because, with him around, hale and hearty, they will never win the Saturday elections free and fair in Ekiti.
“In the face of these challenges, therefore, I wish to call on the people of Rivers State to be prepared to fight and defend their rights to freely and democratically elect their leaders in the 2019 general elections”, Wike charged.
He assured the people of Rivers State that he would never surrender their mandates, saying that he would defend the interest of the state with his life.
He continued, “As your Governor I will never surrender your mandate and abiding interest of our State to our enemies who seek to keep us enslaved and plundered even at the pain of death.
“I wish to commend and congratulate the irrepressible Governor Ayo Fayose and the people of Ekiti State for standing up and standing firm in defence of their rights to freedom, democracy and good governance.
“I want to assure you of the support of the Government and people of Rivers State at these trying times. You need not fear as God will surely defeat your enemies and grant you a resounding victory come Saturday 14th July 2018.”
Governor Wike said that the reasons adduced by the Police High Command was infantile and shameful, saying that no permission was required for a peace rally.
“In explaining the attack, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Habila Joshak, shamelessly claimed that they acted to brutalize the Governor and his people because the rally and peaceful road walk he was to address and lead, was not authorised by the police. This claim is totally rubbish and should be told to the marines.
“Knowing that it cannot defeat the PDP in a free and fair electoral contest, the APC had earlier threatened to cage the Governor and take over Ekiti State Government House by brutal force.
“Today’s brutal action was, therefore, carried out in furtherance of the deliberate plan to intimidate the people of Ekiti State in order to facilitate the actualization of the devilish intentions of the enemies of democracy”, Governor Wike noted.