By Rotimi Amaechi

My Dear people of Rivers State, the National and State Assemblies re-run elections come up this Saturday, March 19, 2016. This is another opportunity for us to exercise our rights to vote for candidates of our choice. You would recall that the last time the elections were held, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were brazenly, crudely and violently prevented from exercising their inalienable rights to elect those they wanted.

Those same characters and forces that stole our votes by violently denying us the right to vote the last time, are at it again. In the months and weeks leading to this Saturday’s elections, they have employed the use of violence and threats to lives as tools of intimidation and harassment, all aimed at preventing us from coming out to vote. They have turned our hitherto peaceful State into a haven of brazen criminality, culminating in killings and maiming of innocent citizens.

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However, it is gratifying to note that the Commander-In-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the security of lives and property in the State before, during and after the elections. Mr. President has graciously provided adequate security through the length and breadth of the State. I therefore enjoin you all to come out en mass to exercise your civic rights, on Saturday.

To this end, the reign of terror in some of our Local Government Areas, leading to senseless killings will not be tolerated, as the security agencies have been directed to ensure the safety of all before, during and after the elections. I therefore, implore you all to come out to exercise your rights to vote.

The Rivers State Government has declared a two-day ‘public holiday’, for Thursday and Friday. To this effect, the State government has directed non Rivers State government establishments and institutions such as banks, businesses and schools to ensure compliance. It is however sad to note that the State government is extending the public holidays to private institutions. This, from the constitutional point of view is an illegality, which clearly shows that the incumbent governor has no regard for the people nor cares for their well-being. This flows from the sudden declaration of a two-day public holiday without considering the attendant economic hardships and consequences it would inflict on the people and the State, respectively. Now, that you have a chance to vote and your vote will count, choose wisely, vote APC.

Finally, I call on all Rivers people not to submit to any form of intimidation and threat. Coming out to elect candidates of your choice on Saturday is your constitutional right and civic responsibility. No one, I repeat, no one can stop you from exercising this right. Once again, let me assure you all that your security and safety is guaranteed. Come out and exercise your right to vote.

God bless Rivers State.

Mr. Amaechi, Honourable Minister of Transportation and former Rivers governor, delivered this address on the legislative rerun elections in the state




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