Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has called on the leaders of the Ikwerre ethnic group to work with other ethnic groups to ensure the faster development of the state.
In a keynote address during the 211th Convention of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide at Rumuche in Emohua Local Government Area on Sunday, Governor Wike said that inter-ethnic cooperation will enhance the development of the state.
Governor Wike said his administration would ensure that all local government areas in the state benefit from development projects and that the road projects pledged for the four Ikwerre speaking LGAs would be completed in one year.
He said: “Let us work together to develop Rivers State. Working together with other ethnic groups, we will move the state forward.
“As leaders of the Ikwerre nationality, we must contribute meaningfully to the development of our communities by enhancing peace and unity”.
He stated that the success of the Amnesty Programme in Ikwerre and Emohua has led to relative peace in the two local government areas.
The Governor charged the Ogbakor Ikwerre leadership to work with other stakeholders to ensure that people participate in the forthcoming national census.
In his address, outgoing President General of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, Prof Augustine Onyeozu commended Governor Wike for always identifying with the Ikwerre cause at all times.
He noted that Governor Wike has been responsible for most of the successes recorded by the Organisation in the promotion of Ikwerre ethnic nationality.
The 211th Convention of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide attracted Ikwerre leaders from across the globe to Rumuche in Emohua Local Government Area.
Collation of results is ongoing at various federal and state collation centers for the national and state assembly elections in Rivers State.
Elections are also expected to be concluded in Akuku Toru Local Government Area (LGA) of the state in south-south Nigeria.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had released an interim statement rescheduling the conclusion of the rerun election in 14 units spread across wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in Akuku Toru LGA for Sunday from 12 noon.
INEC said it was taking stock of the situation in other local government areas where collation was underway.
Meanwhile, the fall out of the election has triggered reactions from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
While the PDP claimed that the APC in connivance with the military and the police were obstructing the process in their favour, the APC maintained that the presence of the military brought the excesses of many politicians under control.
The PDP spokesman in Rivers State, Samuel Nwanosike, had also alleged that the military and INEC were obstructing the process in Ikwere, Emohua and Andoni LGAs of the state.
In his reaction, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Major General Kasimu Abdulkarim, denied allegations of intimidation, snatching of ballot boxes and killings leveled against the military during the re-run elections.
General Abdulkarim said the claims were not only false, but a calculated attempt to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army and wipe public sentiment.
He noted that although the soldiers provided perimeter defence to ward off armed hoodlums and miscreants, the military remained apolitical.
The office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State was on Sunday set on fire.
Reports say the building which is located in the council’s headquarters was set on fire by unknown thugs.
Also on Sunday, there was a protest in the state capital, Port Harcourt, by members of the All Progressives Congress against what they described as irregularities in the Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.
More details to come..