Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has insisted that the ongoing campaigns in the state for candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) precludes the presidential candidate of the opposition party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The governor said members of the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council will not campaign for Atiku because there was no understanding to warrant such support in the oil-rich state.
Wike, who spoke in Bonny during inauguration of the Local Government Campaign by the Council, said, “Go home and have it on your mind that the PDP in Rivers State, we have taken governorship, we have taken the senatorial, we have taken the House of Representatives and we have taken the House of Assembly.
“That is the election we are doing here. These are the ones (candidates) who told me to come and campaign for them. No other person told me to campaign for him.
“I can’t force myself to campaign for you when you have not asked for it. These ones (candidates) have told me. So, I’ve come here to campaign. If somebody asks you to work for him, you’ll work for him. But if they don’t want you to work for them, will you force them?”
The governor, who is the arrow-head of the Group of Five (G-5) governors, said that anybody, who said Rivers was inconsequential, would suffer repercussion for ignoring the state.
The governor enjoined all residents in the state to be rest assured that no intimidation and propaganda could cause a distraction from the political path that had been so chosen.
He said, “Any person who says Rivers State is not important, we will pepper him. Anybody who says he doesn’t regard Rivers State, we would not regard such person.
“There’s nothing like propaganda, nothing like intimidation because nobody can intimidate us. We are very, very solid. We are very strong.
“No State can point at us to determine what will happen here. Nobody can do such. So, be bold to say, I’m from Rivers State, I live in Rivers and I am happy with Rivers. What is important is our state, which we have collected.”
Wike said the state All Progressives Congress (APC) should not bother to campaign in Rivers because of the recognition given to his administration by President Muhammadu Buhari, as the best in infrastructural delivery in the country.
He said because his administration believed in practical demonstration of governance, 12 flyovers were executed within four years, in addition to other development projects.
Wike said: “All these people who say they are campaigning, what are they campaigning for? President Muhammadu Buhari, the leader of APC said I am the best as far as development is concerned. What nature of campaign will they be doing again?”
Speaking further, Wike recalled that during the courtesy visit to the Amayanabo of Grand Bonny before coming to the campaign ground, the monarch spoke about his contributions to the inauguration of the Bonny-Bodo Road.
The governor assured that the ongoing shoreline protection at Long John in Abalamabie community would be completed.
He also said that the contract for the much desired Ring-road in Bonny Town would be signed by him, and completed within the life span of the administration of his successor.
The governor, who frowned at the pace of work at the Bonny National Grammar School despite paying 100 per cent of the contractual sum, assured that it would be completed and formally handed over before the end of his tenure.
Wike urged them to keep faith with the state PDP and deliver bulk votes to ensure victory for Sir Siminialayi Fubara and his running mate at the election.
He said, “This is the closest time and period an Ibani son is getting to the throne of the governor of Rivers State. Now, who is the man that will decide what will be here and what will not be there. Is it not your son? What project is bigger than that project?”
Rivers State governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, listed three areas in Bonny that his administration would pay attention to when elected eventually on March 11.
He said issues of security, construction of internal roads that would further address perennial flooding in the area and protection of the traditional institution, would receive attention.
“We have protected your traditional institution to show that we are people who understand, recognise and appreciate institutions.
“So, our campaign here today is very simple. We will ensure that we sustain the peace that is in Bonny. Everything that we need to do to make sure that you continue to enjoy this peace, we will do so that the IOCs operating here will continue to operate.”
Sir Fubara solicited votes and assured that his administration would consolidate on the foundation laid by the Wike administration had achieved and continued to deliver services that would make living pleasurable in the state.
“PDP has performed in this State and PDP is asking you for your support to continue with the performance. We are not saying we want to perform. We are saying that we will be performing and continue to perform”, he said.
Rivers West senatorial district candidate and deputy governor of Rivers State, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who spoke for National and state assembly candidates candidates from Bonny, assured the people of qualitative representation.
Earlier, governor Wike paid a courtesy call at the palace of the King Dr. Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, Perekule XI, the Amanyanabo and natural ruler of grand Bonny kingdom.