Rivers LG election: Wike warns security agencies, trouble makers ahead of poll

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that he has received
assurances from heads of security agencies in the state that adequate
measures were in place to ensure a peaceful local council poll on

A media aide to the governor, Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, in a statement on
Thursday quoted Wike as saying that government would, "Hold the
security agencies professionally accountable should insecurity be
experienced in the state in the course of the election.''

The governor also urged community leaders and members of the public to
be alert and report suspicious characters and movements in their
neighbourhoods to law enforcement agencies.

"Also, the security agencies have definite instructions to strictly
enforce the restrictions on human and vehicular movement on Election
Day and arrest any person or group of persons that violate this order.

"All those who have no official business with conducting the election
should therefore stay away from the polling units after casting their
votes or risk arrest and prosecution,'' Wike said.

According to the governor, there is no legal instrument stopping the
conduct of Saturday's election in the state.

"As things stand now, we have no other choice but to conduct the local
government election and allow democracy to settle and thrive once
again at the grassroots and drive the development of our communities.

"I can confirm to you that the election will take place as scheduled
in all the 4,442 units, 319 wards and 23 local government areas of the
state as there is no legal obstacle significant enough to warrant

"Let me therefore appeal to all registered voters to turn out in their
numbers to vote for the candidates of their choice.

"This is a civic responsibility you must exercise in order to rekindle
the touch of democracy, good governance and accountability in the
local government system.

"I am very pleased with the information that 67 out of the 68
registered political parties have fielded candidates for the election
and are therefore participating,'' Wike said.

He, however, expressed happiness with the assurances by the Rivers
State Independent Electoral Commission (RVSIEC) that it would conduct
free, fair and credible election on Saturday.

"For us, this is an irreducible minimum and we demand nothing less as
government will hold the commission strictly accountable for any act
or omission that compromise the integrity of both the process and the
election,'' Wike said.

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