Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, has urged political parties and candidates running for office there in 2023 to refrain from any actions or conduct that would incite political unrest.
He brought the newly enacted Executive Order 21; which forbids the use of public schools for demonstrations without the State Commissioner of Education’s consent; to the attention of all political parties and their candidates in the State.
In a State-wide broadcast on Friday, October 7, 2022; Wike delivered the advice and emphasized that the state’s current climate of peace and security will not be jeopardized.
He noted that as the campaign for the 2023 general elections begins; political parties and their candidates need to be reminded of their legal responsibility; particularly to foster an enabling civic environment for peaceful campaigns and elections.
He said, “We clearly respect and guarantee the rights of all the political parties; their candidates and their supporters to unfettered political campaigning throughout the State.
“We cherish this sustained atmosphere of peace and security in our state and would therefore count on the cooperation of the political parties and their candidates to ensure that Rivers State remains peaceful and secure for everyone to go about with his or her legitimate endeavours.”
Wike emphasized that a lot of time, effort, and money was invested by the government to establish and maintain the current state of peace and security.
But he added that his administration was aware of its supreme responsibility to safeguard people’s lives and property in Rivers State.
The governor made a case for why the next campaigns shouldn’t be marked by violence; but rather carried out within the bounds of the law and with a strong sense of responsibility.
“Consequently, we will neither allow nor allow any political party; their affiliates, candidates, and their supporters to violate the prevailing peace and security in the State under any political pretext.
“Let me, therefore, enjoin all the political parties and candidates standing in the 2023 general elections to avoid any act or conduct that could instigate political tensions and ignite flames of election violence in the State or any part thereof,” he said.