ALL Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday accused Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike of stockpiling arms ahead of this weekend’s legislative rerun.
The party said the governor’s allegation that his security detail had been withdrawn was a ploy to divert attention from reports of arms build-up in the state by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the poll.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, APC accused the Wike-led PDP administration of piling up arms to win the election at all cost.
The party said the report by the Rivers State government and the PDP that Wike’s security aides had been withdrawn and that there was an assassination threat on the governor were meant to deflect attention from reports of arms build-up and what it called other sinister plots the Wike-led PDP administration was planning.
APC said: “Nobody is after Wike. The governor and the PDP’s diversionary and false alarm is hinged on the reality that they will lose the legislative rerun once security is tightened in Rivers State.
“Again, the PDP and the Rivers State governor are haunted by their horrible past misdeeds. Nigerians recall how Wike, then a PDP minister, used federal institutions to harass, intimidate and threaten perceived political enemies, particularly Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who was governor of Rivers State.
“Under Wike’s watch, political thugs and criminal gangs have continued to kill and maim APC members and innocent citizens in Rivers State.
“The President, Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration has successively demonstrated the will to ensure that elections are free, transparent and credible. Saturday’s legislative rerun in Rivers State will not be different. The administration does not subscribe to such evil machinations where government institutions are used to achieve political ends.
“The APC hereby calls on security agencies to investigate the report of an arms build-up and be on the alert over the security situation in Rivers State under Wike’s watch and, by extension, the PDP in the lead-up to the Rivers legislative re-run election. Wike’s criminal gangs and PDP thugs must not be allowed to steal votes of the Rivers electorate on Saturday.”
Also, Wike described APC’s allegation as irresponsible.
The governor, who spoke last night through his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr. Austin Tam-George, said: “This irresponsible allegation confirms yet again that the APC is a party erected on a sewage of propaganda and deception.
“Governor Wike does not need arms to defeat the APC in Rivers State. Rivers residents are sophisticated enough to reject the party that brought economic depression and unprecedented scale of despair and joblessness in Nigeria.
“Rivers people have rejected the nefarious legacy of Rotimi Amaechi and will always punish the APC for his visionless administration.”