PORT HARCOURT—The stalemate over the governorship election in Rivers State came to an end with yesterday’s declaration of the incumbent governor, Nyesom Wike by the Independent National Electoral Commissioner, INEC, as the winner of the exercise. The declaration of Wike, who polled 886,264 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Biokpomabo Awara of the African
PORT HARCOURT—The stalemate over the governorship election in Rivers State came to an end with yesterday’s declaration of the incumbent governor, Nyesom Wike by the Independent National Electoral Commissioner, INEC, as the winner of the exercise.
The declaration of Wike, who polled 886,264 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Biokpomabo Awara of the African Alliance Congress, AAC, who garnered 173,859 votes, provoked divergent reactions from interested parties.
The Collation Officer in the state, Prof Teddy Adias said the registered voters for areas where elections were cancelled due to violence, including the entire Abua Odua and Gokana LGAs were inconsequential to Wike’s winning margin of 712,405 votes.
While declaring the result, Prof Adias said: “Today marks the end of an era that commenced on March 9, 2019, when Rivers people were mobilised en-masse to elect their governor.”
While the AAC agent, Nenye Kocha said his party would take a position on the outcome, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, agent and former Speaker of House of Representatives, Chief Austin Opara, urged Awara and his supporters to accept the result and join in building the state.
Kocha said:”We will study the report and come up with a position. The decision of what to do next can’t be mine to determine alone. The party will sit and take a position.”
On his part, Opara said: “This is a victory for Rivers people. The landslide victory is a true reflection of the wishes of Rivers electorate.
“All we are saying now is that it is time Rivers moved away from violence during elections. This is the time to build and we urge the opposition to join Governor Wike to further move Rivers forward”
Jubilations in PortHarcourt
Meanwhile, jubilation had erupted in some parts of Port Harcourt as soon as the final results and declaration of Wike as governor-elect filtered into town.
Motorists and residents also heaved a sigh of relief in expectation that the tension that had engulfed Port Harcourt and the entire state would become a thing of the past.
Earlier, the PDP had raised the alarm that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was planning to disrupt the collation exercise but that was not the case as the result was declared in an atmosphere devoid of hitches.
It’s victory overanti-democraticforces —Atiku
Reacting to the victory, presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, described Wike’s triumph as a victory over anti-democratic forces.
He said: “The PDP is blessed to have a political gladiator, such as you, Wike on our side. The indigenes of Rivers State are fortunate to have a genuine progressive return to extend the frontiers of progress and development for them.
“And I am favoured to count you, Governor Wike, as my friend and brother, and Rivers State as my second home. As your victory is savoured by men of goodwill all over Nigeria, I am sure you will continue the pattern of good works for which you have become known for.”
Power truly belongs to the people —Okowa
Similarly, Delta State governor, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa said the outcome of the poll was a testimony to the fact that power belonged to the people.
Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu said: “Although the Rivers State governorship election took a long time, at the end the will of the people prevailed and I must thank INEC, for doing the right thing in ensuring that the true results that emanated from the units were duly collated.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I congratulate my dear brother and colleague, Nyesom Wike on his well-deserved victory in the just concluded election. I also congratulate our great party in Rivers State and all our teeming supporters nationwide for this well-deserved victory.
“From the margin of victory, it is safe to say that power indeed belongs to the people and they decide who to freely give it to.”
Wike has democracy in his DNA —Secondus
On his part, National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus said Wike’s conduct while the stalemate lasted showed that he had democracy in his DNA.
He said: “By your peaceful conduct in the face of provocations, you have demonstrated truly that democracy is in your DNA and this we will continue to exhibit until all non-democrats pretending to be one are flushed out of our polity.
‘’Nothing underscores the desperation of APC administration to hang on to power at all cost irrespective of the consequences of such actions, like the brazen show of force displayed in Kano supplementary election.
“All of you elected on the platform of this great party should hold your heads high because you went into a contest with APC and ended up in a fight with the nation’s army and some of their commanders.
“From 11 states when we started this journey in December 2017 to 13 before the election and now 15 with a very hope for victory in Osun, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano and Nasarawa. There is hope for this party. The strategic spread of the PDP victories speaks volume on the character and strength of our party as the only true national platform in the country.”
Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP, Mr. Peter Obi in his reaction, hailed what he described as the resilience of the people of Rivers State.
Victory reinforces confidence in WIke —PDP
Similarly, the PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, said the victory reinforced the confidence of the people in WIke.
PDP said: “The victory reinforces the confidence of the people in the resoluteness of asserting their democratic choice of leadership as well as standing in defence of their mandate to the end.
“It also demonstrated that the will of the people will always prevail against every form of suppression as eminently manifested in the desperation of the APC leaders to forcefully and violently take over control of the state against the wish of the people.
“The party salutes and venerates all compatriots, who were killed by agents of the oppressors during the elections. These compatriots did not die in vain.
“The PDP commends Governor Wike, the people of Rivers State and all lovers of democracy across the board for standing firm until the very end.
“The PDP congratulates all our candidates, who won their elections at all levels across the country and assures those pursuing their stolen mandates at the tribunals that the party is fully behind them.’’
The state chairman of the party, Mr. Felix Obuah said the victory was for all lovers of democracy in the state.