Rivers Rerun: It’s election of our lives, says Amaechi as Oyegun okays ‘tooth for tooth’

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From Tony John, Port Harcourt

Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State,  Chibuike Amaechi, has described tomorrow’s  rerun national and state legislative polls  as ‘election of our lives’.

Amaechi, who is the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, declared this yesterday, in his speech at the party’s rally held at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt.

He urged APC’s supporters to protect their lives and votes.

“This is what is called election of our lives. You know I have never spoken like this before. I don’t want to hear that they took over the ballot sheet from you. If they snatch it, collect it back from them. My phone will be switched off. Nobody should call me. The only time you will call me is from 6pm, when you have won the election,” Amaechi stated.

Also, the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said the Federal Government has unleashed its might on the state for the rescheduled election.

He encouraged members of his party to retaliate whatever treatment received from loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the election.

“If they slap you, slap them back. The whole federal might is here; the whole federal executive is here. The entire federal might has heard your cry. There is only one thing; we respect Rivers people. Enough is enough. If they push you, push them. We are on a rescue mission. This state will be rescued,” he said.

Regardless, security has been beefed up at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office, in Port Harcourt, ahead of the elections.

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At about 5:50 pm when Daily Sun left INEC office, there was tight security in and outside the premises, even as part of the Aba Road had been condoned off by security operatives.

It was gathered that the commission had commenced distribution of sensitive materials to various local government areas after receiving the materials yesterday from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This was as the IGP, Idris,  said over 28,000 police personnel have been deployed to ensure a peaceful conduct of the election.

Addressing security agencies in the state, Idris called for collaboration from all sister agencies to ensure that the police succeeded in the election.

He warned police officers not to move out of their areas of operations.

“No politician will go to the polling unit with any police officer. Nobody should be allowed to carry money in his car, nobody should be allowed to move with arms,” he said.

He urged Rivers people, stakeholders and security agencies to ensure the election was concluded.

The Commissioner of Police, Francis Mobolaji Odesanya, said  the police were doing all within their power to ensure a success.

On his part, Brigade Commander 2 Brigade, Brigadier General Hamisu  Hassan, who spoke on behalf of other agencies, assured of their preparedness towards a successful election.

Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike has condemned Kano State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Ganduje’s comment, for allegedly inciting violence in the state, during his speech at the APC campaign rally in Port Harcourt.

Wike, who spoke through his Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr. Austin Tam-George, quoted Ganduje as telling APC supporters: ‘If they shoot  you, take cover and shoot them’.

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Wike described the alleged statement as “a shameful and egregious invitation to violence by the Kano State governor.”

He called on the IGP to order Ganduje out of Rivers to forestall the breakdown of law and order in the state, even as he accused Amaechi of importing political thugs, disguised as APC supporters, to cause mayhem.

The governor urged the people of state to resist any act of electoral fraud by the police, INEC and APC before, during and after the elections on Saturday.


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