From Tony John, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the electorate in his state will use the forthcoming polls to punish the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for abandoning them during the October and November 2022 flooding incidences.

Wike stated this at Community Secondary School in Akinima town during the Rivers State PDP campaign flag-off rally at Ahoada West Local Government Area, yesterday.

The governor said the flooding crisis devastated communities in Abua/Odual, Ahoada West and Ahoada East local government areas with houses submerged, people displaced, and their socio-economic lives disrupted.

He recalled that during the period the flood lasted, the national leadership of PDP refused to visit the communities as a way of identifying with Rivers people when it mattered most.

The Rivers Governor said  even though the PDP national leadership refused to identify with the Rivers communities, they gladly visited flood impacted communities in other states, identified with them, which could be interpreted as hatred for   Rivers State.

For such hatred, and the mindset that Rivers State does not matter, Governor Wike said the electorate would use the power of their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to ‘pepper’ the PDP national leadership in the forthcoming elections. 

“You had a problem, a major problem. Ahoada West, Ahoada East, Abua-Odual, had a major flooding problem. After they’ll say we are in the same party. Is there anybody from the national of our party that came to visit Ahoada West, Ahoada East, and Abua? 

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“But they went to other states, which means they don’t like us. If somebody says he doesn’t like you, will you force yourself on them?”

Wike reassured the people of Ahoada West that his administration would  deliver to them a fully reconstructed government secondary school in Okarki.

He said the contract for the project was awarded long ago and paid for in full but their sons who got the contract failed to deliver on schedule. He assured it will be re-awarded and completed before his tenure ends on May 29.

“What I want to advise you this time is, don’t allow those ballot box snatchers in All Progressives Congress to try it again. Luckily this election is not election of snatching ballot boxes or paper. It is election that will be done electronically and transmitted electronically. All we need from you is to mobilise your people unit by unit.”

State PDP governorship candidate, Siminialayi Fubara, said because of the massive development projects delivered in the area by the PDP controlled government, the party has first right of winning the election.

Fubara, therefore, urged the people to go and collect the remainder of their PVCs at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

With the PVCs, he said, they can confidently vote into power the PDP consolidation team that will continue to deliver to them more development projects, education infrastructure and to sustain the security experienced in the area.