Politicians recruiting cultists, ex-convicts for 2023 elections – Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has accused some politicians in the state of recruiting cultists and ex-convicts as thugs for the 2023 general elections.

Wike said this in a statewide broadcast on Sunday.

According to the governor, the state has continued to maintain relative peace despite the country’s security challenges.

He also threatened to pull down any hotels or entertainment centres used to gather and harbour thugs.

Full broadcast below:

7th August, 2022
My dear people of Rivers State

I wish to thank you for the overwhelming support and solidarity you have given to us from the start of our administration in May 2015 to this very day.

2. Also, I truly appreciate the trust you have continued to place in us, the cooperation we have continued to receive and the implicit faith in the commitment and determination of our government to advance the collective peace, security and progress of our State and our enduring collective quest for fairness, equity and justice in our country.

3. I wish to reiterate that our commitment to the shared covenant for a new, secure and prosperous Rivers State remains strong as ever and we will neither relent nor waiver in our determination to deliver all that we set out to achieve to advance our security, progress and prosperity before the end of our administration.

4. We have done so much and achieved a lot in the last seven years but there is still much more to be delivered. I can assure you that, and as you are witnessing, we will continue to deliver meaningful projects until our last day in office.

5. As you all know these are very turbulent times in the history of our country as the level of insecurity across all parts has never been this bad.

6. Nevertheless, we thank God Almighty for the prevailing high level of peace and security in Rivers State relative to the near calamity that has befallen most other parts of the country.

7. We, therefore, appreciate and applaud our security agencies, for their efforts, courage and dedication to keeping Rivers State substantially safe and secure in the face of very daunting operational difficulties that they face, including the lack of adequate support systems and motivation from the Federal Government.

8. The government and the security agencies have laboured hard to secure the prevailing peace and security, which we are determined to sustain for the benefit of the progress of the State and the wellbeing of our citizens.

9. However, we are not unaware of the intelligence report on some misguided politicians who have started the process of recruiting cultists, supporters and ex-convicts as thugs in furtherance of their political aspirations for 2023.

10. We have also been informed that owners of hotels and entertainment centres are giving out their premises to politicians and political parties as a convenient base for the gathering of these political thugs across the State.

11. I wish to emphasize that we are not taking these reports lightly and will therefore not allow any politician no matter his previous or present position the chance or opportunity to upset the prevailing peace and security in Rivers State.

12. Similarly, we will not allow any political party, be it the All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party or the Social Democratic Party to threaten the safety and security of lives and property during the campaigns with mayhem, thuggery or violence.

13. Accordingly, we have already alerted and set the security agencies on the trail of these misguided politicians and leaders of political parties and stop them in their tracks with the full weight of the law.

14. We also wish to warn owners of hotels and proprietors of relaxation centres to take notice and desist from releasing their facilities for politicians and party leaders to use to meet and plot against the peace, safety and security of our State.

15. For the avoidance of doubt, the State Government will pull down hotels and other entertainment places that are linked howsoever with such criminal political activities.

16. I wish to reiterate our unwavering commitment to safeguarding the sanctity of lives and property throughout the State and to reassure everyone that we shall continue to spare no effort to keep Rivers State safe and secure.

17. We urge residents to be vigilant while going about with their normal activities and promptly report any suspicious gatherings or movements in your vicinity to the attention of the security agencies for necessary action.

18. Once again, thank you for your cooperation, prayer and support, which continues to humble and motivate us to deliver on our mandate to improve the security and well-being of all residents.

19. Thank you and may God bless Rivers State.

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