Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Rerun elections: Rivers Government writes China for intervention

The Rivers State Government has sent a letter to the Peoples Republic of China, asking for diplomatic intervention over the re-run legislative election scheduled for this weekend.
In a letter signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Austin Tam-George,  the Rivers State government said it was not unaware of the plan by the ruling All Progressives Congress to rig the election.
Tam-George in a plethora of accusations against the national Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and other leaders of the party, wants the Chinese government to be observatory about the activities of the APC.

The letter bellow:

RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT NOTIFIES DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS OF THREAT TO NIGERIA’S DEMOCRACY GOVERNMENT OF
RIVERS STATE OF NIGERIA:
Office of the Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Information and Communication
14th March 2016
The President of the Peoples Republic of China Thro:
The Ambassador,
Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China
Plot 302/303, Central Business Area,
Abuja,
Your Excellency,
Grave Threat to Peace and Stability in Rivers State, Nigeria
I write on behalf of the Government and people of Rivers State, Nigeria, to inform you respectfully of the imminent danger posed to the peace and stability of Rivers State, by the actions and provocative utterances of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the run-up to the re-run legislative polls billed for the 19th of March 2016 in Rivers State, leaders of the APC, notably, Mr Dakuku Peterside, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, and others, have resorted to intimidatory
tactics and are openly inciting violence against members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and anyone who holds a different political perspective in
the state.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s judgment recently affirming Governor Nyesom Wike as the duly elected governor of Rivers State, among other PDP victories, the APC has ratcheted up its dangerous rhetoric.
In a widely publicized media interview, Chief John Oyegun the National Chairman of the APC has castigated the integrity of the Justices of the Supreme Court, declaring, “Something is fundamentally wrong in the judiciary”.
Oyegun also made the bizarre suggestion that all oil-producing states of the Niger Delta region were prized assets to be acquired at all costs by the APC.
“We have lost very important resource-rich states to the PDP. No matter how crude oil prices have fallen, it is still the most important revenue earner for the
country”, Chief Oyegun said.
In Chief Oyegun’s company was Mr Dakuku Peterside, the defeated Rivers State APC governorship candidate, who seemed to use the meeting to incite the military and the FederalGovernment against the people of Rivers State.
Among the demands of Dakuku Peterside and the Rivers State APC was the purge of alleged sympathizers “of the immediate-past federal government administration in the leadership of  security agencies, especially in the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.”
This absolutist politics of the APC is not only a direct threat to democracy in Nigeria, but seems to be a manifesto for the open politicization of the security forces of the country.
Dakuku Peterside’s irresponsible call for a politically-motivated “purge” in the security forces will spell disaster for Nigeria.
In a series of media interviews that began with an appearance on “Focus Nigeria”, a TV programme on
African Independent Television (AIT) in Abuja, and with radio stations in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister for Transportation in Nigeria, continues to use language that is both inciting and dangerously divisive.
There are media reports, not denied even by the APC, that Mr. Rotimi Amaechi who has threatened to “do battle” with the PDP and the people of Rivers State
during the polls, was accompanied into Port Harcourt last week by over 500 fully-armed military special forces.
Mr Amaechi has himself publicly threatened to “flood” every polling unit in Rivers State with soldiers in a bid to rig the elections in favour of the All
Progressives Congress.
There are Supreme Court judgments that expressly forbid the use of the military in election matters, and at the polling booth. Mr Amaechi’s threat to inject
the military directly into the electoral process in Rivers State is therefore alarmingly dangerous and illegal.
The homes of key leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party are being routinely raided and vandalized by Mr Amaechi’s goons. And plans have already been
perfected to arrest all leaders of the PDP in Rivers State 48 hours to the elections on the 19th of March.
Mr Rotimi Amaechi is an influential cabinet Minister in the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari of Nigeria.
Our repeated appeals to the President to call Mr Amaechi to order have therefore
gone unheeded.
With a population of 4.5 million people, Rivers State is the oil and gas metropolis of Nigeria. The eruption of violence in a State with strong multi-ethnic fault
lines could cripple Nigeria’s ailing economy, and reverberate across the country’s borders.
We therefore call on the Government of the Peoples Republic of China to urgently initiate and maintain diplomatic pressure on the Federal Government of Nigeria to allow free, fair and violence-free elections in Rivers State on the 19th of March 2016.
Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Austin Tam-George.
Commissioner for Information and Communication,
3rd Floor, Podium Block, Rivers State Secretariat
Complex,
Port Harcourt,
Rivers State, Nigeria

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