APC dares Wike, vows to campaign in LGAs
The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has said despite Governor Nyesom Wike’s ban on rallies in public schools, it was preparing to campaign in all 23 local government areas of the state in accordance with the law.
The state APC governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, in a statement on Sunday, said the recent signing of executive order 21 by the governor was to stifle the political space for opposition parties in the state.
Cole in the statement signed by the spokesman of his campaign, Sogbeye Eli, alleged that the 23 LGA chairmen have been directed to enforce the ‘draconian’ order in their domains.
“The Chairmen of the 23 Local Government Councils in the State who have been directed by the Governor to enforce his punitive and draconian directive under Executive Order 21 are hereby put on notice.
“That APC shall campaign with our candidates across the length and breadth of Rivers State as provided under the constitution and as prescribed by law.
“We will neither succumb to intimidation nor accept the presentation of a fait accompli by Executive Order 21 to political parties other than the Peoples Democratic Party on which platform they and the Governor were elected in the first place.
“We draw the attention of those to whom it may concern that the enforcement of that Order howsoever by the Council Chairmen would amount to a brazen affront on our constitutional rights as political parties and a campaign organization.
“We urge them to resist the lure of exercise of power that can only result in anarchy from the resistance of the parties and candidates targeted by the obnoxious Executive Order 21.”
Cole called on party members and Rivers people to be calm, saying, “In 2023 we will have the opportunity to at long last, after nearly a decade in leadership wilderness, where hopelessness, joblessness and wickedness have been the order of the day, have the opportunity to freely choose their own leader.
“A leader who will respect them, who understands them, who will not abuse his powers, who understands the difference between politics and governance.
“We state unequivocally that Executive Order 21 is another manifestation of his (Wike’s) penchant to crush and suppress opposition in a multiparty democracy instead of allowing citizens to exercise their freedom of choice as enshrined in the Constitution.”
On the N5million non-refundable fee before approval of a venue for rallies is given, Cole said it would be impossible for any opposition party, especially the APC to get Wike’s approval in that regard.
“For a man with such aversion for civil engagements, we know that it will be easier for the camel to pass through the eye of the needle, than for the opposition parties to secure approvals from Wike’s appointees and cheerleaders.”