Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has urged the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to join him in building the state.
He made the appeal on Thursday after the Supreme Court struck out the appeals of the APC on the just concluded elections in Rivers.
The APC had asked the apex court to reverse itself on the exclusion of the party from the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
But a seven-man panel of judges led by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Mohammed, struck out the appeals for being incompetent.
Reacting to the judgement in a broadcast, Governor Wike said all legal issues regarding the fielding of candidates by the APC for the elections in Rivers have finally and permanently been put to rest.
He noted that with the judgement of the apex court, the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidates in the polls was legally safe, secured and protected.
The governor praised the opposition for their courage to fight within the confines of the law to the end.
He reminded them that the task of building the state must take precedence over all other considerations, now that the legal battle was over.
Governor Wike believes the leaders are better of standing and working together for Rivers and its people.
He, therefore, appealed to Amaechi and the APC to join hands with his government to move the state forward, adding that being divided would not mean well for the people.
The governor further urged the people of Rivers to shun all acts of violence and promised to ensure the unity and peaceful co-existence of all residents, irrespective of their political and religious differences.
Read the full text of the governor’s broadcast below:
My dear people of Rivers State,
It is with profound gratitude to God Almighty that I address you today, Thursday, April 11, 2017.
A few hours ago, the Supreme Court of Nigeria struck out the consolidated appeals of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Tonye Cole for lacking in merits.
With this decision, all legal issues regarding the fielding of candidates by the APC for the 2019 National Assembly, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Rivers State have finally and permanently been put to rest.
What this further means is that the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidates in the 2019 National Assembly, Governorship and State House of Assembly elections is legally safe, secured and protected.
I wish to assure you that there is nothing else to fear or be worried about, as there is nothing more the APC or any other person can do to deny us the victory you freely gave to the PDP and its candidates.
Let me again thank God Almighty for His grace and the serial victories since we began this journey to secure your mandate for a second tenure.
Let me also express my deepest gratitude to the people of Rivers State for the opportunity to serve you as your Governor for another four years. I am truly humbled by your continued trust and, I will not take this support for granted.
For me, the collective interest of the people of Rivers State is the reason I am in politics. When you gave me the mandate about four years ago, I committed myself to be the Governor for all the people of Rivers State and stayed through to that commitment.
Today, I recommit myself to be the Governor for all the people of Rivers State for the next four years. Accordingly, we shall form an all-inclusive government to advance the collective interest of all our people, irrespective of party, ethnic or religious affiliations.
We have come a long way in the last four years and accomplished a lot to be proud of. But there’s still a lot more to do to advance and realize the ultimate vision of our founding fathers for a truly united, secure, and prosperous State and we need the support of all our people to realize this bold vision.
We salute the opposition for their courage to fight within the confines of the law to the end. Now that the legal battle is over, the task of building the State must take precedence over all other considerations.
Although the present politics of acrimony and bitterness may have strayed from the noble path of the past, I still believe that we shall be better of standing and working together for our State and our people.
I, therefore, appeal to the APC and the Minister of Transportation to join hands with us to move our dear State forward. We cannot as leaders continue to remain divided and expect the Government to deliver on its responsibilities to our people. Let us from henceforth seek the common ground instead of allowing our differences to be exploited to retard our march to progress.
I appeal to our people to eschew all acts of acrimony, criminality, unrest, and violence throughout the State. I wish to recommit myself to continue to do all that is humanly possible to ensure the unity and peaceful co-existence of all our people irrespective of political affiliation.
Accordingly, I hereby direct the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to review all pending criminal proceedings filed against any person by the State and directly related to political activities prior to the 2019 general elections and make appropriate recommendations to me for necessary action to promote reconciliation among us.
Finally, I assure all our people of our commitment to our responsibilities with a heart full of gratitude.
God bless Rivers State and our nation, Nigeria.