From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that Rivers electorate will use the forthcoming election to punish the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for abandoning them during the October and November 2022 flooding incidence.

Governor Wike made the remark at the Community Secondary School in Akinima Town during the Rivers State PDP Campaign Flag-off Rally at Ahoada West Local Government Area on Tuesday.

The governor explained that the flooding situation was devastating in some communities of Abua/ Odual, Ahoada West and Ahoada East Local Government Areas with houses submerged, the people displaced, and their socioeconomic life disrupted.

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

Governor Wike emphasised that even though the PDP national leadership refused to identify with Rivers communities, they gladly visited flood impacted communities in other States,  and identified with them, which can now be interpreted that they hate Rivers State.

For such hatred, and the mindset that Rivers State does not matter, governor Wike said the electorate will use the power of their permanent voters cards (PVCs) to “pepper” the PDP national leadership in the forthcoming election. 

“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? 

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

Speaking further, governor Wike reassured the people of Ahoada West Local Government that his administration will deliver to them a fully reconstructed Government Secondary School, Okarki.

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Governor Wike told them that the contract for the project was awarded long time ago and paid for in full , but their sons who got the contract failed to deliver on schedule. He assured that it will be re-awarded and completed before his tenure ends on 29th May, 2023.

Governor Wike urged the people not to allow ballot box snatchers in the area to outsmart them anymore particularly, now that the elections will be conducted electronically.

He harped on the need for massive mobilsation of the people per electoral unit ,so that the voters will be aware of who to cast their votes for, and to make sure that PDP wins all the election for governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly.

“What I want to advise you this time is, don’t allow those ballot box snatchers in APC 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 to unit.”

In his address, Rivers State governorship candidate of the PDP, Siminialayi Fubara, noted that because of the massive development projects delivered in the area by the PDP controlled State 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 noted, 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.

Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Desmond Akawor, who presented party’s flags to candidates contesting for the various elective positions, charged the people to ensure bulk delivery of winning votes to them.

Rivers State Deputy governor, Ipalibo Harry Banigo, contesting for Rivers West Senatorial District slot, spoke on behalf of the candidates and said sequel to excellent performance of governor Wike in office, it is given that Ahoada West is faithful supporter of PDP. 

She promised that when elected, they will commit to upholding the interest of their constituents and the State at large.

Before going to the campaign venue, Governor Wike had paid a courtesy visit to the Ahoada West Local Government Traditional Rulers Council under the chairmanship of Moore Maclean  Ubuo, the king of Engenni kingdom, to first introduce and  secure royal blessings for Sir Siminialayi Fubara, as the incoming governor of the State.