Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
As the Edo State gubernatorial election draws nearer, Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyeson Wike has categorically declared that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, cannot be intimidated by the All Progressives Congress, APC, or any of its elected governors.
This is even as the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the challenge of leadership confronting Nigeria and defend its unity by conducting a free, fair and credible election in Edo state.
Secondus pushed for an end to the use of military and other security operatives during elections, describing such as abuse of electoral rules.
Wike and Secondus spoke yesterday at the PDP national secretariat during the inauguration of the party’s 93-member national campaign council for Edo governorship election.
The Rivers State governor is the Chairman of the PDP’s NCCEGE
The Edo governorship election is scheduled to hold on September 19, this year.
At the inauguration ceremony which was attended by Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo State) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo State), Senators, members of House of Representatives, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso, Wike also dismissed the threat by the Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje that he (Wike) would be isolated during the election.
Ganduje is the Chairman of the APC’s NCCEGE.
The Rivers State governor equally cautioned the nation’s security agencies against any attempt to rig this election in Edo state.
Wike said, “Nobody can intimidate us for this election.
“Yesterday (Monday), I was told and today (Tuesday), I read on the pages of newspaper that one Gov. Ganduje said that he was going to isolate me until the election is over.
The PDP National Chairman, Prince Secondus, while inaugurating the campaign council said, “We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the challenge of leadership confronting our dear country and defend its unity by conducting a free, fair and credible election in Edo state.
“Stop use of military and other security operatives in abuse of electoral rules.
“By conducting free and fair election in Edo, the President will not only be stabilizing the country politically but would be averting an impending doom that could make the doomsday prediction about Nigeria’s disintegration come true, God forbids”.
Continuing, Secondus said, “For us in PDP, the Edo election has been made easy going by the records of achievements of our flag bearers, His Excellency Governor Godwin Obaseki and his running mate, His Excellency Philip Shuiabu.
“What we seek therefore, is a level playing field where the peoples’ votes will count.
“We recall that it’s in Edo state that President Goodluck Jonathan, in a ruling party, when Comrade Adams Oshiohmole won election twice as opposition because of the transparency of the time.
“With all these the country is under threat from all corners and its unity more endangered than ever before.
“We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the challenge of leadership confronting our dear country and defend its unity by conducting a free, fair and credible election in Edo state.
“Stop use of military and other security operatives in abuse of electoral rules”, the PDP National Chairman said.