Posted by News Express | 10 March 2015 | 2,736 times
The Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu has described the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Rivers State, Dr Dakuku Peterside as a public servant per excellence.
Odinkalu, who is on a fact-finding mission to Rivers State, said this during a courtesy call on Peterside at the Greater Together Campaign office in Port Harcourt.
Accompanied by the governing council of the commission, the professor described the APC candidate as his brother reputed for an exemplary public servant with good record.
“Peterside has been in public service long before now. I congratulate and pray for him. I also wish to offer my condolences because a lot of blood has been shed. It does not matter where you belong. We didn’t want to sit in Abuja and assume that we know what is happening through twitter.
“We are here because we want to see both campaigns, we also want to see evidence of those who were killed. Do we have names and documents? Can we get a sense of what is happening? Do we have records?,” he said.
Odinkalu promised to see the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State Command for more details. He stressed that there is no alternative to civil and democratic governance.
“And Rivers State is strategic in this respect. That is why we wish to start from here. Our role is not take sides. We are all worried, not just because we have families and friends, if we don’t have a country that exists, we can’t even do politics, we can’t do public service or think of improving our country. That is the spirit of this visit, to engage and try to understand the issues,” he said.
The chairman noted that nobody wants anarchy, urging all stakeholders to shun violence and protect the nation from political unrest.
Responding, Peterside, on behalf of his party and the campaign organisation, thanked Odinkalu for his commission’s interest in the crisis in Rivers State.
‘I am sure that before coming to Rivers State, you must have received with mixed feelings, our stories of political violence. These negative stories appear to have overshadowed the achievements of this government. Your visit, I must say, will show you that we are peace-loving people,” he said.
Peterside added that violence in a part of the country naturally has a ripple effect in other parts of the country, hence the reason, according to him, to nip it in the bud.
He commended the commission for the intervention.
“This effort to help monitor and curtail this distressing degree of human rights abuses is most welcome because lives are wasted daily. I was shocked to discover that in less than one year in one local government area alone (Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni) we lost 30 persons to political violence.
“In Okrika, you would have read in the papers that we are not allowed to campaign there. Similar scenario is playing out in Ogo Bolo local government area. I am told, though unconfirmed, that some chiefs in Okrika issued an order barring us from coming to campaign in Okrika and I am wondering if Okrika is not part of Rivers State, “he stated.
Peterside also called on fellow politicians to eschew bitterness in their quest for power, said power only comes from God.
He charged them to appeal to voters with their programmes rather than resorting to intimidation and violence, adding that anyone who truly wants to serve must care for the lives of the citizens.
He later presented his manifesto: ‘Road Map to Prosperity to Odinkalu’, a comprehensive audio/visual package and other documents on the violence in Rivers State.
•Photo shows Prof. Odinakalu speaking during his visit to the Greater Together campaign office in Port Harcourt. With him is Dr. Dakuku Peterside.
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