Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has emphasised on the need to end what he described as politics of religion in Nigeria.

The governor insisted that Nigerian politicians must stop the politics of religion so that they do not burn the country down in the wake of campaigns towards the 2023 general elections.

Wike made this when he hosted the new Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Okon Effiong, who led a team of senior police officers on a courtesy visit to him at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday.

He said, “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.”

He urged personnel of the various security agencies to stop taking sides with politicians who use all tactics including religion to frustrate efforts at protecting life and property.

The governor emphasised that government must remain committed to the protection of life and property of all residents.

Wike noted that any government that is unable to do so has failed in its responsibility and has no business being in governance.

He said, “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 have no need to talk about governance.

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

Meanwhile, the governor has appealed to the new Commissioner of Police not to play politics in the state.

He urged the commissioner to ensure that the political campaigns are peaceful, and the elections conducted in an atmosphere devoid of intimidation of the electorate.

The governor said if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refused to be influenced, the police stay away from interfering in the electoral process and the judiciary insists that the rules are complied with, the vote of the peoples will count.

“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,” he said.

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