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Statewide Broadcast: Amaechi Urges Rivers Residents To Shun Violence Ahead Of Guber Polls

Rivers State youths and residents have been urged to resist temptation to be used by the politicians, as instrument to foist violence, in the coming Governorship and States Assembly polls in the state.

The State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi made the call Friday, in Port Harcourt, the State capital in pre-election statewide broadcast.

“Those who divide and pitch us against ourselves are not of us; they are not our friends, they are our enemies and we must avoid them” Amaechi submitted.

Elections in Rivers State, the Governor stated should be about equity and “our peaceful co-existence as a people”, adding that the poll should be about encouraging those who aspire to office to work in the interest of the people. He expressed optimism that the approaching elections would be historic, especially as the world was watching and waiting to see the outcome.

“As a Nation, we have already set a good example for the whole of Africa in showing that we can decide our affairs devoid of rancor and violence. I am therefore confident that as a State, we can follow this trend as we head to the polls on Saturday for the gubernatorial elections.

“As a government, we have worked with you to make history in our state. We believe firmly in the resilient power of the people to determine what is best for them. Over the past 8 years, we have worked hard to make this possible. On April 11, we have a choice to continue this progress or endanger it” Governor Amaechi stressed.

He therefore called on the residents to turn out on Saturday, April 11, “to be counted as history makers”.

Still, the Governor warned those he said have made the importation of violence with small arms and light weapons into Rivers State a trade to stand down the weapons and on violence.

In Amaechi’s words: “Government owes its people a responsibility to protect their lives and property. We will not relinquish this right”.

In order to ensure the safety of lives and properties during the election, Governor Amaechi announced that an emergency security council meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 8 to review happenings during the Saturday, March 28, Presidential election and plan for safe, free, fair and credible elections.

He assured the people of the State that their protection was paramount not just today but also during the elections of April 11, urging them to remain at the polling station at a reasonable distance after casting their votes, where they could see what was going on.

He contested IGP stay off poling units order, contending that the electorates have every right to monitor their votes.

According to him, monitoring of votes was the election is about people’s lives, asking that why such process should take place and be concluded in their absence.

“Secondly, no law forbids you from staying at the polling station. You simply are not allowed to disturb other voters, interfere with the process or campaign for votes on Election Day.

“Thirdly and most importantly, the Electoral Act requires that the result at each polling station must be collated, announced by the officials and posted at the polling station.

The question to ask those who say you cannot stay at the polling station is this: Who will hear the results, and to whom will they be announced, if voters have left? Governor Amaechi held.

The Governor who painted gloomy pictures of needless political and economic battles he had faced, that also resulted to break down of law and order, repeated that the eyes of the world was on the State, saying that he believed the residents and government would collectively set a better example by being law abiding and peaceful.

Amaechi declared: “Let us shame the troublemakers and keep a date with destiny for ourselves and generations unborn” adding that history beckoned and history was a “demanding judge”.

While seeking pardon from those who were offended by his administration, Amaechi stressed as a governor, he was elected to serve; his government has always meant well, and would sustain the same gesture, promising to do everything to ensure that “we fulfill our promises to you and give you good reason to be glad that you are Rivers people, proud, resilient and greater together”.

On Presidential Election, Governor Amaechi who hailed both President Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (rted) and incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan for the hands of fellowship already extended to each other, declared that there was little time to reflect on the issues at stake, insisting that polls “must be about Rivers state. It must be about its progress and the prosperity of all who live here and are from here. It must be about development, good governance, peace and security. We need to stand firm as a people for what we believe in.

“When that day breaks, I encourage you all to come out with your Permanent Voters Cards, walk to the polling station to get accredited. Even if it rains, stand to be counted.

“And if the sun decides to bless us with its rays, I urge you all to return for the voting exercise. This election is about your life, your safety, the wellbeing of your loved ones, your business, and the future of your children, and ultimately, our great state.

“Let it be said of you in the future that you stood up to be counted. Why? Because deep down inside every one of us, we want a peaceful, transparent, credible and violence-free election, and not a repeat of what seemingly overwhelmed our land in the last elections.” Governor Amaechi admonished.


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