Stop Politics of Religion, Wike Calls

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has encouraged employees of various security agencies to refrain from siding with politicians who thwart attempts to preserve life and property by using various strategies, including religion.

In order to prevent the country from imploding during the general election campaigns in 2023, Governor Wike stated that Nigerian politicians must also end the politics of religion.

The new Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Okon Effiong, visited Governor Wike at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Thursday in the company of a group of top police officers.

“We believe we owe this country, and we must also stop this politics of religion so that we don’t instigate crisis and violence. You must go and tell the people what you can do, what we can offer.”

The governor emphasised that his administration has continued to be dedicated to safeguarding the lives and property of all State residents.

This is due to its conviction that in order for any development projects to be used, the people for whom they are offered must feel safe and alive.

According to Governor Wike, any administration that is unable to do this has failed in its duty and has no business exercising governmental authority.

“For me, there cannot be any good governance without the protection of life and property. Nobody can talk about good governance when there is insecurity everywhere. If you cannot protect your citizens, you do not need to talk about governance.

“Because if you’re doing roads, people must be alive to use the road. If you’re building a good school, people must be alive to go to school. So, it is key that you owe your citizens the protection of their lives and property. And so, for us as a government, that is the sole aim of being in government.”

He promised that his government always has and will continue to give the security agencies the support they need to carry out their security operations successfully because they are the institutions charged with such responsibilities.

In order to combat crime in Rivers State, Governor Wike expressed the expectation that the incoming police chief will use his extensive operational and law enforcement background.

He pleaded with him to stand up for what was right and not let fear stop him from doing so. He advised him to go to the criminals’ hideouts to drive them out.

The governor remembered how leaders of the State’s security agencies—particularly the army—got involved in the 2019 election process but encountered opposition from Rivers residents.

Governor Wike advised the new Commissioner of Police to avoid going down that road and to ensure that the campaigns are peaceful and the elections are held in an environment free from voter intimidation.

According to the governor, the people’s votes will be counted if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refuses to be swayed, the police refrain from meddling in the election, and the judiciary demands that the law be followed.

“You have a role to make sure the people’s vote count, that the right person emerges. And when the right person emerges, you’ll see passion and commitment in their work. The difference will be clear.”

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