The Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Governor, chief Chukwuemeka Woke has advised voters to be wary of political buccaneers and fraudsters, whose stock in trade is to deceive people for selfish monetary gains during electioneering period.

This is as he berates Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe for making unsubstantiated claims intended to deceive Rivers people that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s administration has not executed any project in the State.

Woke gave the advice while speaking at the Grassroots Development Initiative, GDI sensitisation and mobilisation rally for the continuous Permanent Voters Card, PVC registration exercise held at Saint Paul’s State School Field, Rumuji in Emohua Local Government Area over the weekend.

The Chief of Staff, who opined that the likes of Sara-Igbe only appear during active political seasons to make money, vowed that Rivers people will not allow such characters to continue to deceive them.

“We are not playing politics, but we will not allow the buccaneers and 419 people to deceive Rivers people. Time has come again, those who have disappeared in the last four years are beginning to reappear again, we will not give them that space.

“People like Anabs Sara-Igbe. He is always coming every four-four years. Some time, he will come as mafia messenger and at some other time, he will come as PANDEF whatever.”

“He has come again, deceiving Rivers people and saying that the present administration has not done any project, even though he contradicted himself by acknowledging that he saw bridges. No projects, but there are bridges.

“I’ve not come here to campaign because this is not a campaign, but am advising Rivers people to be weary of such people, those 419 people, those buccaneers because this is their season. This is the only time they make money. But be rest assured that we will not give them any chance.” he asserted.

He also took a swipe on comments by the 2015 gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the state and former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside that it is now time to rebuild the APC in the state, following the massive resignation of party faithful.

Woke stated categorically that there is no other party in Rivers State other than the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. According to him, APC no longer exist in the state.

“There is no other party in Rivers State other than PDP. I heard Dakuku Peterside during the week saying that now that a lot of people have resigned from APC en-masse, it is time for them to rebuild the party. Rebuild what? When a milk is spilt, is there anything you can get from it? APC don’t have party any more in Rivers State.” he opined.

Speaking on the PVC sensitization and mobilization rally, the Chief of Staff urged those who have registered but yet to collect their cards to do so because the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC will only accredit voters through the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, during the forthcoming election.

“Those of us who have registered and are not privileged to pick up their PVC should please do, because the electoral guideline for this election will not recognise any manuel accreditation. The accreditation is by BVAS and it means you have to get your permanent voters card that will match with your face. So there is no point saying I registered but I didn’t pick my permanent voters card, what I have is temporary voters card, no.”

Woke emphasised that the voters registration exercise is not about political party, but an empirical basis for determining the population of prospective voters. Coincidentally, he noted that this is also coming at a time the federal government through the National Population Commission, NPC is planning a national census.

” So, let us engage our chiefs, our elders, CDCs and youth leaders, because the number of registered voters for every community will be an empirical basis for determining the population of the people.

In his remarks, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Siminialayi Fubara said the sensitisation rally has been organised to spur the people to be well prepared ahead of the 2023 general elections as their PVC is the key to the success of the party.

Fubara, who acknowledged the high level of consciousness on the importance of PVC among the people of Emohua, however urged leaders of the council not to rest on their oars in order for PDP to replicate its dominance make a statement in the state.

“The reason why we are doing this sensitisation programme is not that we are not aware that you are conscious of the use of PVC, but we want you to prepare yourself very well. The election we are about entering into is not election of thuggery. You can deny that Emohua is not a battle front, it is and, if we have to win, just like we have been winning, we need to get this number well and secured. We shouldn’t rest on our oars and say look, we have five hundred thousand per unit, or one hundred and fifty thousand per ward, we need to go far above that because we want to make a statement in this State.

“So, I will urge the leaders of this LGA, go back improve on what you have. Winning is not a problem, but winning and winning well, that is what we want. Winning and making a statement that not withstanding what happened in 2019, we can still replicate that by winning again. That is why this exercise is important.”

The PDP standard bearer lauded the people of Emohua for their support and sued for continued cooperation and togetherness to achieve set goals.

On his part, the Director General of GDI, Bright Amaewhule, who urged the people of Emohua to ensure that they all register and get their PVC ready for the election, assured of GDI support.

The event witnessed people from different walks of life, including the Deputy Governorship candidate, Prof. (Mrs) Ngozi Ordu, State PDP Chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor represented by the party Secretary, Dr. Benibo George, members of the state Exco of the party, members of the National and State Assembly, local government chairmen and GDI coordinators, former Commissioners, women and youths.

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