My dear people of Rivers State
As you know, the bye-election to the fill the Port Harcourt Constituency III seat in the Rivers State House of Assembly has been scheduled for Saturday 18th August, 2018.
2. This seat became vacant following the resignation of Hon. Victor Ihunwo who has since been elected as the Chairman of Port Harcourt City Local Government Council.
3. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised that the bye-election shall be free, fair and credible.
4. The Security agencies, especially the Police have also promised to ensure adequate security for eligible voters and poll officials to ensure a peaceful, credible, and fair election.
5. The people of Rivers State expect and demand nothing less. Consequently, we take INEC and the security agencies at their word and expect them to deliver a bye-election in the affected constituency devoid of any electoral malfeasance.
6. This election is very important to the people and residents of Rumuokowu, Ihuwo-Orogbu, Rumuokara-mati, Rumuelechi, Oro-obaziolu, Rumu-enyika, Rumuopareli, Rumuobiekwe, Rumukpalukwuozu, Rumuogbarawehu and Rumuwoji communities because it will enable them to elect who will represent and advance their interests in the Rivers State House of Assembly.
7. I therefore call on all eligible voters in these communities to come out in your numbers not only to vote for the party and candidate of your choice but also to defend your votes and ensure your votes count.
8. I call on the youths to come out in your numbers to vote for the party and candidate that can advance your interests in the governance of the State.
9. I call on all our chiefs and elders to come out in your numbers to vote for the party and candidate of your choice that will promote and advance your rights to decent standards of living and social security.
10. Similarly, I call on our women to come out in your numbers to vote not only for the party and candidate that will advance the interest of women and children but also bravely stand like Hon Boma Goodhead of the House of Representatives did in Abuja recently. Your collective resistance against those who may attempt to rig the election and deny you of your preferred choice is the least we expect of you.
11. This is civic duty you must discharge with all sense of responsibility to guarantee a better representation for your constituency. Otherwise, you will only have yourselves to blame when things go wrong with the quality of your representation in the State House of Assembly.
12. For us, free, fair and credible electoral choice is the hallmark of democracy and good governance. As a prelude to the 2019 general elections, this election is equally important to the entire Rivers State.
13. Accordingly, the Rivers State Government has put adequate measures to ensure that the bye-election is highly successful and the outcome generally acceptable.
14. Part of such measures include the restriction of vehicular movements in the entire length and breadth of Port Harcourt Constituency III as well as the closure of the following roads and routes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday 18th August, 2018.
· From Agip junction (Rumueme) through Ikwerre road and adjoining streets to Olu Obasanjo road and adjoining streets to UTC junction and adjoining streets in Diobu areas of Port Harcourt Local Government Area.
15. Consequently, I warn all residents and visitors to comply with the restriction order as the law enforcement agencies are under strict instructions to arrest and prosecute anyone caught violating this order.
16. Furthermore, we have it on good authority that some failed politicians are planning to use cultists and political thugs to intimidate voters and attempt to disrupt the voting process.
17. I wish to reiterate that the Rivers State Government will not close its eyes to such thoughtless acts by any person or group of persons to deny our people their God-given right to freely and fairly elect their leaders. We shall not hesitate to apply the full weight and force of government and the law on any delinquent.
18. We therefore advise all those who have no business with the election process to, in their own interest, keep their distance from the constituency during the duration of the bye-election.
19. We note with satisfaction the high level of determination and enthusiasm among the voters in Port Harcourt Constituency III to effectively participate in next Saturday’s bye-election.
20. What’s left is for you to translate this momentum into reality by coming out in your numbers to vote for the party and candidate of your choice and ensure that the person you voted for is lawfully returned by the INEC.
21. Finally, I wish to reiterate that this election, important as it is, must not be taken as a do or die affair. I therefore urge leaders of political parties and their candidates to advise their supporters to peacefully conduct themselves during and after the bye-election.
22. Thank you and may God bless Rivers State