The Rivers State Government on Sunday warned that the state would not stand by and watch attempts to install “a certain Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant as governor” of the state in the 2015 election.
A statement by Mr. Dave Iyofor, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, said the state was shocked at the reported directive to the state’s new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dan Bature, to ensure the emergence of the candidate of the First Lady as the state governor come 2015.
The state alleged that based on the reports in two national dailies, Bature had been instructed to unleash what it described as the “draconian style and tactics” of the former state police commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu.
“He is to tackle Governor Rotimi Amaechi, his supporters and Rivers people and then install the preferred candidate as governor”, it added.
The state government, however, said it was ready to resist such attempts to unconstitutionally install a stooge of the Presidency in the state, using the new police commissioner.
The statement read in part, “The people of Rivers State will strongly and bravely resist any attempt by anyone or institutions, including The Presidency, to unconstitutionally install the preferred PDP aspirant as Governor of the State, now or in the 2015 election.
“There is no provision in the Nigerian Constitution and laws for the ‘installation’ of a preferred aspirant as governor of a state by The Presidency. What our laws prescribe is a free and fair election that must be devoid of police and security forces coercion, harassment and intimidation of voters.
“Rivers voters must be allowed to and will freely choose and elect their governor in the 2015 elections. It is their inalienable democratic right that they will not and will never surrender to anyone or institution, including The Presidency.
“We must warn that the looming danger ahead for our polity and our country is indeed ominous, if this noxious script is acted out. This is an avoidable crisis that must be avoided by all parties mentioned in the reports”.
While congratulating the new police commissioner on his appointment, the state urged him to resist any attempt to compel him to take sides in the political affairs in the state.
It said, “We expect and hope that he would act professionally and would firmly resist any external influences and pressure to be politically biased and partisan in the discharge of his duties to Rivers people as the police chief.
“We pray that God and his conscience guide him to do only what is constitutional, lawful, right, just and fair in the policing of Rivers State”.