Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has raised the alarm over plots by some politicians to import political thugs and cultists into the state in order to influence the outcome of Saturday’s bye-election for Port Harcourt 3 Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly.
This is as the Rivers State Police has announced the total restriction of movement from 6:00am to 6:00pm in Mile 1, Mile 2 and Mile 2 areas of Diobu in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who spoke in a statewide broadcast to the people of the state on Friday, urged leaders of political parties and their candidates to advise their supporters to conduct themselves peacefully during and after the election. He said the election is not a do-or-die affair.
The governor declared that all those plotting to use political thugs and cultists would be tracked down and make to face the full weight of government and extant laws.
He said: “Furthermore, we have it on good authority that some failed politicians are planning to use cultists and political thugs to intimidate voters and attempt to disrupt the voting process.
“I wish to reiterate that the Rivers State Government will not close its eyes to such thoughtless acts by any person or group of persons to deny our people their God-given right to freely and fairly elect their leaders. We shall not hesitate to apply the full weight and force of government and the law on any delinquent.
“We therefore advise all those who have no business with the election process to, in their own interest, keep their distance from the constituency during the duration of the bye-election.”
Wike said there would be restriction of movement from 7:00am to 7:00pm, said the measure is to ensure that the bye election is conducted under a peaceful atmosphere devoid of rancour.
The governor said: “The Rivers State Government has put adequate measures to ensure that the bye-election is highly successful and the outcome generally acceptable.
“lPart of such measures include the restriction of vehicular movements in the entire length and breadth of Port Harcourt Constituency III as well as the closure of the following roads and routes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday 18th August, 2018.
“From Agip junction (Rumueme) through Ikwerre road and adjoining streets to Olu Obasanjo road and adjoining streets to UTC junction and adjoining streets in Diobu areas of Port Harcourt local government area.”
He urged the people and residents to turn out enmasse to vote and defend their votes and appealed to youths, elders and women to troop out to vote a candidate who will work towards the advancement of good governance in the state.
Wike said: “This election is very important to the people and residents of Rumuokowu, Ihuwo-Orogbu, Rumuokara-mati, Rumuelechi, Oro-obaziolu, Rumu-enyika, Rumuopareli, Rumuobiekwe, Rumukpalukwuozu, Rumuogbarawehu and Rumuwoji communities because it will enable them to elect who will represent and advance their interests in the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“I call on the youths to come out in your numbers to vote for the party and candidate that can advance your interests in the governance of the State.
“I call on all our chiefs and elders to come out in your numbers to vote for the party and candidate of your choice that will promote and advance your rights to decent standards of living and social security.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zaki Mohammed has called residents of the affected communities to abide by the restriction order in order to ensure a bye-election that is credible, free, fair and devoid of violence.
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