(By Chris K.Amadi)-The Special Adviser to the Governor of Rivers State on Political Matters and Strategy, Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh, has condemned in unmistakable terms the use of thugs by persons he described as Abuja based – politicians to rob electorates of their inalienable constitutional right to choose who represents them at all levels of governance.
Speaking to our correspondent in a telephone conversation over the weekend, in reaction to the widespread use of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, and thugs by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to harass unarmed and defenseless citizens of Port Harcourt Constituency 3 during the bye-election into the State House of Assembly, the political tactician said:
“It is no longer fashionable all over the world, particularly in the case of Rivers State, for any politician to rely on Abuja or what is always referred to as Federal Might to win elections. It is obvious that whoever wants to win any election in Rivers State must come home and convince the people of what the person has done to deserve their votes.
“Relying on Federal Might without campaign has become more difficult for these category of politicians, who will think that police and army are weapons for winning elections. This is because Governor Wike has changed the psyche and narrative by his outstanding performance in the areas of infrastructural and human resources development in the past close to four years.
“The resistance by the electorates of Port Harcourt Constituency 3 to the onslaught and manipulations by APC and men of SARS during last Saturday’s House of Assembly bye-election is an eloquent testimony that Rivers people are no longer naïve but committed to freely choosing their representatives,” Barr. Emeh maintained.
Meanwhile, the special adviser has commended the people of Port Harcourt Local Government for demonstrating maturity in not reacting in the crude manner as was displayed by the APC and her leadership during the Saturday bye-election.
He also commended supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party and the entire people of Port Harcourt Constituency 3, for not taking laws into their hands just as he warned the APC that everyday shall no longer be Christmas, and that Rivers people are now adequately prepared to defend their votes and rights and will not tolerate any further show of shame in future elections. Barr. Emeh condemned the APC for displaying character that is alien to the good and peace loving people of Rivers State.
The obvious implication of resort to use of thugs by the APC on Saturday , according to the Emohua born politician, is a confirmation that the party is not on ground in Rivers State, even as he commended Governor Nyesom Wike for being proactive and displaying leadership and statesmanship by his timely broadcast and calling on Rivers people to remain calm in spite of the provocation orchestrated by the APC. But for that singular action of the governor, the situation would have snowballed into unprecedented breakdown of law and order, and for this Rivers people are eternally grateful to Wike, he emphasized.
Responding to a question, Barr. Emeh explained that, from what happened on Saturday, there is no doubt that APC has designed a plan to create an atmosphere of insecurity in the state and give a negative impression that Rivers state is not safe as they have always peddled while in their self inflicted exile in Abuja.
On what the future holds for Rivers State in particular and Nigeria in general as we approach 2019 general election, Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh said: “We use this opportunity to continue to advise APC and their leadership and indeed all other political parties not to rely on fraudulent means and violence to steal votes, as there is no alternative to Governor Wike, given the confidence Rivers people have reposed in the leadership of the governor – as a leader they trust.
It would be recalled that the chairman of APC in the state, Ojukaye Flagg-Amachree had mobilized thugs under the cover of SARS to intimidate both electorates and INEC personnel on Saturday, August 18, even when he is not from that constituency and ought not to be seen in the area. This undue interference of Kalabari –born Ojukaye Flagg-Amachree resulted to people sustaining varying degrees of injuries during the Port Harcourt Constituency 3 bye-election which prompted INEC to suspend the entire exercise indefinitely.