Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violence and killings that occurred during the March 19, rerun legislative elections in the state.
In a broadcast on Wednesday, Governor Wike said: “in order to forestall a repeat of the needless violence and fatalities in future elections, I hereby establish a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to investigate the violence, killings and other related acts that occurred in parts of the State during the March 19 2016 re-run elections and make appropriate recommendations to Government for implementation.”
The governor noted that: “The members of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry are as follows: Hon. Justice Monima Wenike Danagogo – Chairman; Venerable John Adubasim – Member, Mrs. Douye Green – Member; Barr. Joseph Zabbey – Member, Engr. Luke Nwanodi – Member, Mrs. Uche Uriri – Secretary.”
The Judicial Commission of Inquiry will be sworn-in by the Governor on Thursday, March 24, 2016 by 10am at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor said that as a responsible government, the administration will continue to be alive to its responsibility to protect lives and property in Rivers State.
He said: “I wish to assure Mr. President of our continuous commitment to do everything within our powers and resources to support the security agencies to fight crime and criminality and ensure that Rivers State is secure, safe and peaceful for people to live, enjoy and go about their legitimate social and economic activities.
“Furthermore, I wish to on behalf of the State Government express my deepest sympathies to the family of the late National Youth Service Corp member, Mr. Dumiebi Samuel Okonta, who unfortunately lost his life while faithfully serving the nation on election duty during the March 19, 2016 re-run elections in the State.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike noted: “I wish to re-emphasize that I fully share Mr. President’s position that we must as a people and as a nation exterminate the scourge of recurring flawed elections and join the rest of the civilized world in conducting relatively flawless and credible elections at all times.
“I, therefore, call on the INEC and all other agencies in the management of the electoral process, including the political parties and the candidates, to play by the established rules and ensure that the re-run elections to be conducted in the remaining eight Local Government Areas are devoid of malpractices and violence of any kind.
“Once again, I call on all eligible voters from the affected Local Government Areas to come out and freely exercise their franchise whenever the re-run elections are fixed.”
He described as fifth columnists all those persons, including highly placed politicians, INEC staff and security agencies who deliberately worked to sabotage the re-run elections in the state.
He said such persons were enemies of progress who were out and determined to undermine the electoral process and perpetuate the old discredited ways of electioneering process.
The governor said: “I wish to, with profound humility and appreciation thank you all for your peaceful conduct and effective participation in electing your representatives during the re-run legislative elections of March 19 2016 despite the provocations from some overzealous security personnel and their political collaborators.
“I wish to also express my profound gratitude and loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Mohammadu Buhari for his uncompromising commitment towards entrenching a permanent culture of free, fair and credible elections in the country.”