Watch INEC, security closely, Wike, who has won many elections in the past, urges CSOs

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Gov Nyesom Wike has won many elections in the past as a member of the federal ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Now, being in the opposition for once, he has pointed to where observers should watch closely, the electoral umpire and security agencies. He did not ask them to watch the state governments that control the thugs and mobilize security operatives that often do the bidding of the governors.

Wike on Friday, February 8, 2019, called on Civil Society and Non-governmental organisations to monitor the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC ) to ensure  they conduct elections  in line with the Electoral Act .

The governor also called on them to also monitor the activities of security agencies  during  the  elections. Speaking during an interactive session  with Civil Society and  Non-Governmental Organisations in Port Harcourt  on  Friday, Governor Wike said the groups have a critical  role  to play in the conduct of credible elections.

He said: “You have to monitor  INEC  and  security agencies to ensure that they work in line with the Electoral Act and the constitution  during  the elections “.The governor  said with the shocking  activities  of INEC, civil society organisations should step up their monitoring functions around them.

Governor Wike urged the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act  to give civil society organisations more powers during and after elections.  He said such powers will reduce electoral manipulation.

He urged the Civil Society Organisations to work with other Nigerians to ensure that Atiku Abubakar wins at the Federal level because  a second term  for  Buhari would  lead to national disaster. “Thank God that PDP has found its bearing and it is preparing to take over. This country will not survive another four years of Buhari’s directionless and dictatorial governance”, he said  .

The governor  said that this is the time for all Nigerians  to exercise  their  civic rights. He said if Nigerians fail to come  out enmasse to vote, the nation will suffer the consequences.

He noted that if security agencies  see the mass participation of Nigerians during the elections, it would be difficult  for them to act funny.

Governor Wike  said that Rivers State  has no reason to vote Buhari because  he has not executed  a single project  in the state.

In his address, Chairman of Rivers State Civil Society Organisations, Sotonye George, called for peaceful and credible polls. He charged INEC to avoid partisanship  so that the votes of the people can count. He also called on security agencies to be professional in the discharge of the duties during the elections.

George stated that the State needs Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency for the protection  of  lives and property.  They urged the Rivers State Government  to operationalise the agency, despite the attempt  by the Nigerian Army  to frustrate the scheme.

Meshac Uyi of the Integrity Group commended  the Rivers State Governor  for his achievements  in the area infrastructural  development and urged him to tackle certain environmental challenges.

Rivers State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Isaac Kamalu said that the interactive session was convened for the governor and the Civil Society Organisations  to chart a new direction  for the sustained  development of Rivers State.

Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of an award to Governor Wike for his outstanding developmental strides  by the Civil Society Organisations.