Thank you for your peaceful conduct and effective participation in the State’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections on 18th March 2023.
Results already announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) show that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won 31 of the 32 State House of Assembly Constituencies. The PDP also won in virtually all electoral wards and Local Government Areas, and our candidate, Sir Siminaliyi, declared the Governor-Elect.
The APC Gubernatorial candidate, Tonye Cole, lost in his Ward and Local Government Area. He lost in almost all electoral units, wards and Local Government Areas of the State.
Tonye Cole never ran any effective political campaigns. His party was fractured beyond redemption. He was literarily waiting for his godfather and business partner, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi to magically make him Governor.
Rotimi Amaechi also lost to the PDP in his community, Ubima, his Ward and the Local Government Area.
Both forgot that Rivers people knew them as an evil partnership that diverted the State’s $50,000,000.00 and declined overwhelmingly to vote for them.
How could Rotimi Amaechi and Tonye Cole hope to win this election after dividing their party into several mutually destructive fragments of opposing political camps without the strength to take on the united, solid and highly performing PDP?
Rotimi Amaechi caused what was left of the Rivers State APC to be further depleted to a shadow of its name with his visceral grip and resentful imposition of Tonye Cole on its members.
Having been abandoned by virtually all party big-wigs and Amaechis’ political associates, a deserted Tonye Cole’s campaigns were lacklustre, limited in reach, and ineffective in impacting the electorates.
As a Lagos-based selfish businessman, Tonye Cole was more of a stranger even to his community, Abonnema, where he has contributed nothing to its development. Little wonder, he was rejected right from his ward and community to the entire Local Government Area.
Rotimi Amaechi’s highly irresponsible comments on the emotive abandoned property issue further angered Rivers people, who decided to punish him, Tonye Cole and his party with their votes.
The electoral fate of the SDP candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, was not better either.
He lost woefully in 15 out of 17 wards in his native Gokana Local Government Area. He lost in all 23 Local Governments of the State. His party did not win a single State constituency.
Magnus’s vaunting ambition was to have a chance to be named on the ballot as a gubernatorial candidate of any party, having twice been denied the APC by his former friend, political leader and associate, Rotimi Amaechi.
He achieved this limited and useless ambition when he hurriedly decamped from the APC to the SDP. This party never existed in Rivers State until the day he illegally captured its gubernatorial ticket.
Magnus Abe was never a serious political contender and went into the election as one of the weakest, unserious and unprepared candidates.
In the circumstance, should Tonye Cole and Magnus be angry because they lost an election they could not have ever won by any stretch of the imagination?
Why spew false, wild, and unsubstantiated statements against elections publicly seen and widely approved as free, fair, and credible?
Can Magnus come clean on this election with his relationship with Lebara Nduh, the INEC Director of Security, who availed him and his supporters with fake INEC security tags?
Is it possible under the present voting system for the PDP to rig this election to the extent of winning all 23 Local Government Areas and 31 State constituents if they were competitive and electable candidates?
The truth is that the PDP ran an effective political campaign. We went to all 319 wards to sell our candidates. We flagged off and commissioned impactful projects throughout our campaign, which excited the people.
Our people are happy and invested their hopes in the PDP because we performed and did the near-impossible to advance the State’s development.
We delivered impactful project after project across the State. There is no Local Government Area we did not impact with our infrastructural revolution. Indeed, we performed to the extent that we were adjudged by President Buhari and the Federal Government as the best State Government in infrastructure delivery.
We did not advance the cause of an Ogoni, Kalabari or Ikwerre Governor. We were for a Rivers Governor. We were for consolidation and continuity, which messages resonated and inspired the people to vote for us.
It is a sheer hallucination for any other party to think of winning a free, fair and credible election against the PDP in Rivers State with our overwhelming presence, acceptability and excellent performance in government.
Thank you for speaking loudly and clearly that Rivers state belongs to the PDP. I thank you again for trusting me. Thank you for not disappointing me. Thank you for acting on our request to return the PDP to consolidate and continue from where we will stop.
On behalf of our party, I assure you that we will fulfil every campaign promise to the people of Rivers State.
We are also willing to work with the opposition to move Rivers State forward. I have also received assurance from the Governor-Elect of his willingness to work with the opposition to advance the interests of the State.
Nigerians should know Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi for who he is: a morally bankrupt, haughty and sadistic character with little political value, if at all.
Amaechi wildly claimed in his recent interview that the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, conducted the worst elections in Nigeria’s history. He further alleged that Mahmud Yakubu worked under me as Minister and confessed that he opposed his reappointment because he was nominated by someone in the President-elect’s camp of the APC.
The truth was that Mahmood Yakubu never worked under me. Both of us worked in the Federal Ministry of Education. He was the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, supervised by the Minister of Education, while I was the Minister of State for Education.
At any rate, was Mahmood Yakubu INEC’s chairman in the 2015 general elections in Rivers State when we defeated him and his political party as a sitting Governor and Director-General of Mohamadu Buhari’s Presidential Campaign?
Was it not the same Mahmood Yakubu that conducted the 2019 general election, which the APC and President Mohammadu Buhari won?
Was he working for Atiku Abubakar of the PDP when, as a sitting super Minister of Transportation, he could not win 25% for President Buhari in Rivers State in the 2019 general election?
Why did it take this long for Rotimi Amaechi to speak out about his opposition to Mahmood Yakubu’s reappointment?
What was the motive for his egocentric opposition to his reappointment?
In his frustration, Rotimi Amaechi publicly denounced and claimed to know so much bad things about the federal government that he served for seven years.
Yet, he lacked the courage to tell Nigerians what he claimed to know about Buhari’s government, which he alleged had totally failed.
In saner climes, law enforcement agencies should have invited such a devious and malignant character for hate speech, public incitement and threat to national security, public safety and order.
By his mischievous statements, Rotimi Amaechi attempted to attribute, locate and blame his infamous political failures and frustrations in Rivers State on the INEC’s chairman.
In the 2015 general elections, we defeated him as a sitting Governor and Director-General of the Buhari campaign in Rivers State.
In the 2019 general elections, we beat him as President Buhari’s super Minister and Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign.
He could not even influence 25% of the votes for his party, even after using the army to cause mayhem and attempt to rig the election.
In 2023, we defeated him as an ordinary person. This shows that Rotimi Amaechi cannot win any electoral contest with us in Rivers State.
The outcome of the 2023 general elections has again exposed Rotimi Amaechi, Tonye Cole and Magnus Abe as political paperweights and rejects.
We thank God they ran this election without being disqualified by the courts. They would have been claiming something else by now. We urge them to stop the perennial complaints, propaganda and futile diatribes and accept that Rivers State belongs to the PDP.
Those who betrayed us now know that infidelity is never a virtue, nor does it pay. However, we have forgiven them just as the Governor-Elect has also told me he will forgive them if they retrace their steps and return home.
I especially thank the Christian Association of Nigeria, other faiths, traditional rulers, the business community, the vibrant youths and women for voting en masse for the PDP. We will never take your trust for granted.
We appreciate and commend the security agencies’ professionalism throughout the elections. Although there were few security incidents and compromises, the polls were largely peaceful and secure because of your patriotism and commitment to duty.
The State Government will defray the medical expenses of any security personnel injured during the elections.
Finally, on behalf of the people of Rivers State, I congratulate our Governor-Elect, Deputy-Governor-Elect and 31 House of Assembly-Elects for their resounding victories at the polls.
I also congratulate all PDP Governors-Elects nationwide for their electoral victories.
Now that the elections are over, let us close ranks and work together to reclaim, rebuild, and reposition our party based on equity, fairness and justice to serve and advance our country’s unity, security, and progress.
Thank you, and may God bless you all and bless our State.