Leaders of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, 12 governors, some APC Federal lawmakers and party leaders Thursday stormed Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, for a mega rally ahead of Saturday’s legislative rerun elections in the state.
The APC governors who attended the rally included Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto; Umar Ganduje of Kano; Godwin Obasaki of Edo; Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi; Samuel Ortom of Benue; Simon Lalong of Plateau; Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun and the governor-elect of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.
The governors called on the APC members and the people of the state to vote for all APC candidates during the election.
The chairman of the APC campaign committee, who is the governor of Kano State, said the campaign team was set to deliver all the legislative seats to the APC.
Ganduje, who described Rivers State as a centre of corruption, said the victory of the APC during the election would mark the beginning of the party’s journey to reclaim the state in 2019.
The APC national chairman, Odigie-Oyegun, said the party was in Rivers with “federal might” to inform the people on the need to vote all APC candidates.
He said: “We came in force with the federal might, with half of the APC governors and National Assembly members. We respect the courage and resilience of Rivers people with the fate and commitment shown to the APC.
“You have cried a lot and your cry has been heard. We want you to join the change mantra by ensuring that you return all APC candidates in the Saturday’s legislative re-run election.”
The minister of Transportation and former Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, said the re-run election would be a battle of life for the state APC members.
Amaechi called on party members not to be afraid but came out en masse to vote, urging them to defend themselves against any form of attack.
The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in a separate development had advised the electorate in Rivers not to be intimidated in exercising their civil responsibility.
Yakubu said heads of security agencies, especially the Inspector General of Police, had assured the commission of securing the environment for deployment of election personnel and materials for the election.
The INEC had deployed 10,294 staff to conclude the national and state assembly elections in Rivers State.
The elections will take place across three senatorial districts, eight federal constituencies and 10 state constituencies.
The commission had earlier scheduled to re-run the elections on March 19, 2016, following court orders after the 2015 general elections. The elections were, however, disrupted by violence as a result of which they were suspended.