Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has declared January 27 every year as a public holiday to mark what his government is describing as ”the survival of the state from the forces of political conspiracy who attempted to subvert the mandate of the people.”
January 27, 2016, was the day Wike recorded a stunning win at the Supreme Court which overturned the rulings of the election tribunal and appeal court which had both earlier nullified Wike’s victory. The highest court in the land validated Wike’s election win and subsequent inauguration as Rivers governor. The court will give reasons for the verdict later this month.
Since the Supreme Court’s pronouncement, Wike and his supporters have been in a celebratory mood, which no one can begrudge them. However, in one of the most self-serving decisions taken in recent times, Wike announced that his day of personal triumph will now be celebrated yearly as a public holiday for workers in the state, when offices will not open for business because ”it is the day God came down to save Rivers State.”
”What people must understand is that power comes from God. We know God speaks last and he has spoken,” Wike said, while addressing thousands of civil servants at the State Civil Service Secretariat in Port Harcourt.
Several other elections will still be held in Rivers state in the coming months as the Appeal court nullified many national and state assembly electpositions. Wike urged civil servants and other Rivers people to ensure they vote for PDP candidates in the re-run elections to ”promote harmony in governance and sustain the development agenda of the state government.”
According to the governor, the APC in the State plans to use the rerun elections to enter the political arena through the window having been shut out by the people and the Supreme Court. “When someone cannot come through the door, he may want to come through the window. Rivers people must not allow them. Our people must stop them from entering through the window to obstruct the good works of this administration,” he said.
“Anyone who plans to rig an election is an armed robber and should be treated as such. If you are coming to rig an election in the state, first prepare your will before embarking on the journey. Inform your wife or husband and go ahead to say your last prayer.
“When they used the security forces in Bayelsa State, it didn’t work. It will also not work here in Rivers State. Rivers State is a peaceful state and our people are peace loving. We want to remain so”.
The governor assured civil servants and pensioners that his administration will continue to pay their salaries and pensions. He said all welfare issues will be given top priority. He, however, stated that steps will be taken by the administration to verify the actual number of civil servants and pensioners to stop payment to non-existent beneficiaries.
The governor added that the administration will work out modalities to improve the state’s internally generated revenue.
Earlier, Head of the State Civil Service, Barrister Rufus Godwins commended the governor for being up to date in the payment of salaries and pensions. He assured the governor of the loyalty of the workers.