The governor added: “How else can we attribute INEC’s misfeasance and criminal complicity in the emerging but strange jurisprudential contraption in election disputes where fake results produced and procured from the custody of terribly partisan Police agency were validated and accepted as evidentially superior to its own results by the electoral tribunals to overturn the returns it genuinely and rightly made in respect of the outcome of the 2016 legislative re-run elections in Rivers State?”.
Governor Wike said that after 57 of independence, the nation’s judiciary constantly suffers from systemic intimidation and denied the strength to act with courage and conviction to defend the constitutional rights of Nigerians to freely elect their leaders through free and fair elections.
“It is obvious that for so long as the Federal Government continues to weaken the nation’s democratic institutions, in including the judiciary our democracy will continue to stutter and Nigerians would never have the genuine chance to effectively exercise their constitutional right to freely and fairly elect the right leaders to move the country forward.
“Apart from its visible involvement in election rigging, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)of the Nigerian Police has ironically and manifestly become the most serious threat to the security of lives and property in Rivers State. So many people who have been victims of criminal extortion, robbery, kidnapping and torture continue to recount their ordeals from this criminal gang masquerading as security operatives in the State”, he said.
The governor said Nigerians collectively have the key to a peaceful, united and better Nigeria.
According to him: “We must therefore all commit ourselves to sincere leadership, socio-economic justice, fiscal federalism, the rule of law, free and fair elections, respect for human rights, eradication of poverty, access to quality education, full employment and the guarantee of peaceful existence.”
The event was marked by parade by the Nigerian Police, Para-military Organisations, school children and voluntary youth organisations.
There were presentation of trophies to winning schools and voluntary youth organisations.
Highpoint of the Independence Celebration was the release of Peace Pigeons by Governor Wike.
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media.
1st October, 2017.