Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari was not committed to delivering transparent elections to Nigerians in 2023.
Wike also said the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by All Progressives Congress, APC, members in the National Assembly, was tantamount to a coup against Nigerians, who are desirous of free, fair, and credible polls.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, Wike spoke during the official presentation of a letter of nomination to him as “the 2020 Governor of the Year Award” by the management of the Leadership Media Group at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Tuesday.
Wike said that the current National Assembly capitalized on the seeming political indifference of Nigerians to deliberately vote against the inclusion of electronic transmission of election results in the amended Electoral Act, describing those NASS members who voted against transmission of election results electronically as enemies of the country.
He said: “Those who voted against e-transmission of results should be ashamed of themselves. They never mean well for this country. If you are a member of the National Assembly and you voted against electronic transmission of results, your children should call you and say daddy, are you well?
“I can’t believe anybody who went to school in this digital period, will vote against electronic transmission of results. What kind of country is this? What kind of National Assembly members do we have?”
Wike declared that the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by APC lawmakers, even when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had affirmed that it has the capacity to electronically transmit results, is tantamount to a coup against the citizens of the country.
The governor said he had expected President Buhari, who had openly declared that he respects former President Goodluck Jonathan, for not compromising the 2015 general elections, to build on the electoral legacy of his predecessor.
He noted that President Muhammad Buhari’s failure to prevail on APC members in the National Assembly to support the inclusion of electronic transmission of election results in the amended Electoral Acts, proves he does not intend to leave a legacy of a transparent electoral process.
He said: “If Jonathan did not believe in the transparency of the election, he would not have allowed card reader to be used. So, he introduced the card reader as a sitting President, knowing fully well that that could be an albatross to him. But he said no, I want us to move to the next level.
“Mr. President cannot tell us that sincerely he wants to conduct a free, fair, credible election. Let nobody deceive you. It is very clear that there is no sure intention at all.”
The governor, also stated that he has never and would never influence any media organization to nominate him for an award, advised media groups against bestowing awards on non-performing political officeholders.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of Leadership Newspaper, Muazu Elazeh, said they were in Port Harcourt to formally present Governor Wike the letter of his nomination as the Leadership Governor of the year and then to invite him to attend the Leadership conference slated for September.
“When the board of editors of Leadership met for this nomination because it is something we do every year, when your name was mentioned, I think it is the only name that received unanimous endorsement because of your practical approach to leadership and governance; because of your focus in infrastructural development which is resetting the business and economy of Rivers State,” Elazeh