1 February 2019

Nigeria: Wike Alleges Plot to Shut Down Internet

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to work with internet service providers to shutdown internet access during the forthcoming elections.

Wike, who spoke yesterday during a courtesy visit by Savannah Centre Council on Peaceful and Violence Free in Nigeria at the Government House Port Harcourt, stated that shutting down internet access by the NSA and INEC is aimed at facilitating the rigging of the 2019 general elections.

The governor said: "The National Security Adviser has met with INEC to ensure that internet service providers shutdown the internet, so that foreign bodies won't see what's happening in the country during the elections.

"They will jam all the frequencies and internet services to stop real time communication during the elections. This plot to rig the forthcoming elections is a recipe for violence. They will not succeed in whatever they are planning. The world will be informed about their criminal activities."

He stated that the negative actions of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration indicate that they will not accept defeat when they lose the forthcoming elections.

Wike advised Buhari to emulate his predecessor, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who placed Nigeria above personal consideration.

The governor said: "I don't think this administration will willingly accept defeat. They should emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan who lost elections and accepted the outcome. There was no litigation. He went back home and did not generate crisis."

He stated that Rivers people will not fold their hands and allow the APC-led federal government unleash violence and rig the 2019 general elections in the state.

Wine, who regretted that the APC-led Federal Government has caged the Judiciary, making it difficult to determine electoral disputes in court, argued that the conduct of credible elections rest squarely with security agencies and INEC, saying that once the two agencies act within the law, the polls will be credible polls.

Earlier in his remarks, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and founder of Savannah Centre Council on Peaceful and Violence Free in Nigeria, Professor Ibrahim Gambari called on all stakeholders to work towards peaceful and credible polls.

Gambari, who stated that the group is involved in extensive research and consultation to promote peace, noted that peace and development are intertwined, hence they must be encouraged.

The former Minister urged Wike to use his national contacts to enhance the culture of peace.

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