Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that the international community played a huge role in ensuring a smooth governorship election in Edo State.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, the governor explained that threatening to place a visa ban on anyone found guilty of rigging, forced people to act appropriately.
“One thing that played out and which I noticed was the role of the international community. For example, the US, the UK came out and said that there would be a visa ban if anybody tries anything in terms of violence or rigging and they have gone further to ban some governors,” he said.
“Everybody was being careful, saying, I don’t want to have any problem, I don’t want my children and family to have any problem. We all go to the UK everytime.
“Infact they should even go further, not only politicians, but security agencies, then you’ll see everybody will sit up and say look, I cannot jeopardize the future of my children and mine, simply because you want me to rig the election, so it’s very key”.
When asked about his role in the election, Governor Wike said he didn’t play any special role and that the success of the election was a result of the joint efforts of all the stakeholders, particularly the governors of Oyo and Delta states.
He also spoke about the role of the Inspector General of Police in the elections, saying he tried to force him (Wike) to leave the state.
“First of all, the IG’s role as far as I’m concerned as it relates to me, has to do with someone who has had a premeditated view about me because the IG never saw me outside. I was inside my room and I got a call from the IG, that I must leave Edo State.
“What surprised me was that I am the Chairman of the campaign council so why should I leave. And as chairman you must monitor what is going on so that at the end of the day, you’ll be able to write your report to the party,” he explained.
According to him, the IGP’s action had nothing to do with the election, rather it was based on a personal vendetta.
“I quite remembered that some time ago my commissioner returned from a FAAC meeting and said there were deductions made to the Police Trust Fund.
“I asked who approved it because the police are under the exclusive list and not the concurrent list. I told my attorney-general to challenge it. This angered the IG,” Wike explained.
The Rivers State Governor, however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its role in ensuring a credible election.
According to him, if INEC can replicate what was done in Edo, for the Ondo governorship election, then the PDP can be assured of victory.