On Friday, several candidates for governor of Rivers State from various political parties, including the Social Democratic Party, All Progressives Congress, Accord, and the African Democratic Congress, protested against Governor Nyesom Wike outside the state police headquarters.
They claimed that the governor was intimidating them prior to the upcoming election. Senator Magnus Abe, one of the candidates, criticized Governor Wike for instructing security agencies to arrest and prosecute certain politicians in the state for allegedly plotting to disrupt the election, arguing that he lacked the authority to do so. Abe also pointed out that many of the people mentioned in the governor's broadcast were simply individuals campaigning for other political parties.
Many of the individuals mentioned in the governor's broadcast are actually members of the SDP, and among them is a Nigerian citizen who recently arrived in the country specifically to participate in the election and exercise his right to vote as a citizen.
According to Abe, the Nigerian citizen was included in the governor's list of individuals to be arrested simply because he had erected billboards for the SDP and encouraged voters to support the party. Abe emphasized that it is the responsibility of the Nigerian Police to issue a warrant for anyone they deem necessary to apprehend.
In addition, Tonye Cole of the APC stated that the protest was a collective decision made by multiple parties. He alleged that opposition parties had been subjected to victimization, intimidation, and arrests of their members.
Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the candidate for Accord, remarked that the concerns being raised were not only limited to the candidates, but the electorate in the state were also anxious. He urged the police to take steps to ensure that the public has faith in the electoral process.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, denied the allegations made by the candidates. He asserted that the governor and the ruling PDP in the state would never engage in such reprehensible behavior.
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