Reacting to the verdict of the Supreme Court on the jurisdiction of the Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal, governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike maintained that the court decision was part of the gang-up against the people of the state. He said that the people of the state would resist any attempt to steal the mandate they gave to him.
Speaking on Tuesday through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, the governor declared that his adversaries were making moves to steal the mandate given to him by the people of the state.
According to him, “The judges should be careful; the courts should be careful because the mandate was given to Governor Wike, which his adversaries are trying to steal through the backdoor by going to the court.
“Rivers people will definitely want to protect that mandate and will resist any attempt to steal it from Governor Nyesom Wike.
“Rivers people will not resign themselves to fate and allow their mandate freely given to Governor Wike stolen away. I enjoin all the political and judicial coup plotters to give this a penetrating thought. We shall defend our mandate. The voice of the people is the voice of God and the people have spoken; it is Wike or no one.”
The governor said that despite the Supreme Court verdict, the APC should not be under any illusion that it was about occupying the Government House in Port Harcourt.
He added, “As of the time when the tribunals were set up, the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court were sitting. The state was also peaceful. Why move the juridical seat to Abuja? The answer is simple; to subvert the will of the people.”
Reacting, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Chris Finebone, said it was wrong for Wike to say that the people’s mandate belonged to him.
Finebone argued that the party and its governorship candidate would not have gone to court if the mandate actually belonged to Wike.
He said, “It is our (APC) mandate and not Wike or PDP’s mandate, otherwise we would not have gone to court. We were not allowed to choose our representatives. Believe me, if we have a free and fair election, the APC will win. All we asked for was a free and fair election, which we did not get.”
Calling on the state PDP and Wike to accept the ruling of the courts and stop criticising the judiciary, Finebone assured that the APC would continue to abide by the decisions of the courts.
He maintained the APC was not stealing anybody’s mandate through the backdoor, adding that going to court to seek redress was the best the APC did rather than resorting to self-help.
“For us in the APC, we don’t know what would warrant anybody to talk about the judiciary in such a manner. If the court rules, it should be obeyed. Our concern is that we will continue to abide by the rule of law.
“Going to court is not stealing. So, I do not know where stealing comes in. We went to court and that means that we are mindful of the law and not ready to resort to self-help,” the state APC publicity secretary said.