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Rivers stakeholders move to scuttle Wike’s visit to UK Royal Institute of International Affairs

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 04/11/2017

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•Governor Wike
•Governor Wike

Stakeholders in Rivers State have asked the United Kingdom-based Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) to call off its proposed programme to host the state Governor, Nyesom Wike next week.

In a terse press release jointly issued in Abuja on Friday, two groups known as Public Eye on Democracy (PED) and Lawyers’ Network for the Prevention of Electoral Violence (LANPEV) expressed their surprise that such a highly respected think-tank could offer its platform for "a discredited politician."

The groups recalled that the period before, during and after the elections in the state were marred with violent killings and political assassinations. They said: “There is a lot of information available in the public domain about how the Rivers State Governor bribed some members of the Nigeria Police and electoral officials with about N360 million to manipulate the results of the gubernatorial elections in 2015.”

They described Wike as a desperate politician who has squandered the goodwill of his people and is now travelling around the world to procure any form of legitimacy.

They recalled that the Governor was allegedly caught on audio tape arranging bribe for electoral officials during the elections, and that when some electoral officials resisted his offers, he was said to have threatened to kill them.

“After Mr. Wike was announced the winner, several international organisations that observed the elections like the Commonwealth and the European Union raised concerns about the elections, which they described as 'shambolic exercise which does not come not near anything free and fair’.

“Many supporters of the opposition in the state were summarily shot in places like Gokana, Khana, Omoku and other Kalabari areas of the state.

“An estimated 138 persons have so far lost their lives before, during and after the election that brought Mr. Wike to power.

“Faced with loss of public confidence due to his negative track record, Mr. Wike has been travelling to spread what many people in the state see as ‘lies and propaganda’ to sell himself to the international community.”

The groups, however, enjoined international organisations who want to host Nigerian politicians to be cautions and, to first, conduct due diligence on them, warning Chatham House to call off the proposed event because it would lead to the loss of public confidence and negative perception, especially by many Nigerians who admire the instituion.

 

Source News Express

Posted 04/11/2017 05:47 AM

 

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