The Rivers State Government has denied allegations that Governor Nyesom Wike went round with soldiers during last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, intimidating voters and influencing votes.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, said this in a statement in Port Harcourt on Monday.
Finebone was reacting to a viral broadcast message, alleging that Wike had a discussion with a member of the House of Representatives, Dumnamene Dekor, to plot electoral malpractices.
Describing the video as doctored, the commissioner said those behind it were on a campaign of calumny aimed at tarnishing the image of the governor and urged members of the public to disregard same.
He said, “It has come to the attention of Rivers State Government that certain individuals have undertaken to conduct a campaign of calumny against the person of the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Nyesom Wike, utilising all forms of doctored and false audio and visual materials and circulating same particularly over the Internet.
“Of particular mention is a doctored audio clip that was concocted during the 2016 re-run election in Rivers State in which they purported same to be a discussion between the governor and Honourable Dum Dekor.
“That audio concoction was duly discredited and discarded as a piece of rubbish masterminded by evil people to tarnish the image of Governor Wike.
But in a hurry to throw dirt at the governor this time, some people decided to exhume and use same old discredited clip to justify their evil machination of sullying the image of the governor.
“Let it be clearly stated that after Governor Wike and his wife managed to cast their vote last Saturday, they quietly returned to their home and never stepped out for the rest of the day.
“It was, therefore, surprising that the same individuals who, for reasons best known to them, decided to lie against the governor, have gone ahead to raise false accusations suggesting that Governor Wike moved about with soldiers intimidating people and influencing voting and collation of votes.
“This is, indeed, a lie taken from the very abyss of hell.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Wike does not have a single soldier in his formal and informal entourage at any time, more so, during election time. The governor did not, for whatever, reason visit or move around after casting his vote.
The accusation of him moving around to intimidate or cause any disruption of any kind derives only from the wicked imagination of evil doers but they have failed.”
Similarly, the Director of Publicity and Communications, Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council, Chief Ogbonnan Nwuke, has dismissed an online petition demanding visa ban on Wike, for allegedly sponsoring electoral violence.
Nwuke, in an interview with, our correspondent on Monday, challenged the persons behind the online petition to provide proof to back up their claim.
No fewer than 12,404 persons had virtually signed a petition on change.org urging the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and the entirety of European and Asian continents to place visa ban on Wike and his family members.
The initiator of the petition, Onyebuchi Ezeagabu, had alleged that “The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has been operating to destroy electoral process in the state he governs. We demand his and his family’s visa eligibility revoked.”
One Amechi Victor, who supported the petition, said, “He (Wike) is against democracy in Nigeria. He just manipulated election result.”
But defending the governor, Nwuke described the persons behind it as mere attention seekers “who think they can hurt citizens that enjoy the mandate of their people.”
He said, “We have seen the names of those who signed this petition. We know they are not Rivers people. The claim that Wike killed Igbo further proves that point. The foreign missions and the countries that they represent are better informed about events that are playing out in the country.
“They have credible sources of gathering information. Wike provided logistics to Peter Obi when he came. No Igbo man said anything about Wike killing Igbo.
Rivers people do not want to be part of IPOB and the growing instability. So, it is important to say Wike did not kill Igbo. Maintaining security in Rivers State, protecting Rivers lives and business owners was imperative. Wike, as chief security officer, called in law enforcement agencies to keep the peace.
“Now that Rivers people are voting in accordance with their conscience and their interest, those who are behind this petition are saying Rivers people are wrong to make a choice of their own. It is unfair.”