Former Rivers governor and current Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has commended the heavy deployment of soldiers to Rivers state to oversee the governorship and state assembly elections today, saying the move will benefit the people of the state, following the violence that marred the presidential and National Assembly polls.
Speaking on Friday to a delegation from the British High Commission who paid him a visit at his home in the city of Port Harcourt, Amaechi said the strong security presence would help protect citizens.
“With the presence of the military in Rivers State for Saturday’s elections, everybody, including the All Progressives Congress and the People’s Democratic Party members are protected. They (military) will beef up security in the state,” he said.
Who will receive Amaechi’s vote: The Minister said his vote would go to Biokpomabo Awara of the African Action Congress (AAC) following the absence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the polls.
“My party is not on the ballot for Saturday’s elections and you know I have the right to vote; that is why I will vote for the candidate of the AAC,” he said.
Bottom Line: Rivers state was a major problem area during the last elections in terms of violence, insecurity and voter apathy. The feedback from the state so far shows that today’s election may be worse. Despite the heavy security presence, there have been reported deaths already, and the turnout looks worse. Gov. Nyesom Wike is the favorite to win reelection, but Amaechi and the APC’s backing of the AAC may lead to a few opposition seats going the way of that party.