Statement By Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside, Governorship Candidate Of The All Progressives Congress (APC) In Response To The Supreme Court Judgment Upholding The Declaration By Inec That Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike Won The April 11, 2015 General Elections In Rive
The learned Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria yesterday January 27, 2016 upheld the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike won the April 11, 2015 Governorship election in Rivers State.
The decision was a departure
from the earlier findings of the Rivers State Governorship Election
Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal which had both agreed with
us that the conduct of the April 11, 2015 elections failed to comply
substantially with the requirements of the Electoral Act.
This decision marks the culmination of a legal battle we instituted
not merely because we want power for its sake; but against the virus
of electoral violence that often thwarts the will of the people.
My associates and I are grateful to God for directing us to pursue
justice in the courts rather than resort to self-help. We magnify our
God for giving us the will and the support of Rivers people to
maintain the legal battle. As a people who believe in the law, we
fought a good fight; we won some of the legal battles along the way.
For this we thank our legal team for the diligence with which they
conducted the case.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has differed from our position. Still,
we thank God for giving us the stoicism to accept the verdict. Indeed,
our God deserves praise for reminding us that as His children we
should respect and honour even our earthly authorities. It is a
further reminder that His will is best in all things for His glory and
the greater good of humanity.
We thank Nigerians, especially Rivers people who have stood by us
during this legal odyssey spanning approximately 10 months. We urge
all our supporters to take a cue from us in accepting this verdict,
without more. We invoke in you the spirit of stoicism and compassion.
Even if you are taunted by people who do not understand the ways of
God, keep calm and be motivated by the greater good in all your
Our decision to serve Rivers State was borne out of a passion to
uplift our people; to clothe them with dignity on the twin planks of
social and economic prosperity. We anchored this promise on the
platform of unity. Consequently, we never ceased to remind ourselves
that we are GREATER TOGETHER. A Supreme Court verdict that goes
against our prayer is a veritable opportunity to demonstrate how
dearly we hold the greater together creed.
Consequently, we shall do our best to work for the peace and
development of Rivers State and all who reside in it. We shall
creatively offer our help to Governor Nyesom Wike. We will provide a
virile opposition, serving as a mirror for the conscience of
government, in the interest of Rivers people. When encouragement is
needed towards a just and proper course of dealings, we will offer our
commendation to the government. Conversely, we will constructively
express objection to policies and actions we consider inimical to the
overall interest of Rivers people. It is our hope that Governor Wike
and his team will appreciate the suggestions and proposals that would
be made in the interest of Rivers people. If we sometimes sound
strident, he should pay heed to the message of passionate and zealous
Rivers people rather than dismiss the messenger.
Although we have accepted the Supreme Court verdict, it would be
remiss of me not to point out that this is also an opportunity for our
people to engage in deep introspection on the electoral process.
Beyond party affiliation, must we continue to allow the electoral
process to be subject to the whims and caprices of anti-democratic
elements, especially those who deploy personal militia to molest and
even kill voters; those who hold the electoral umpire captive or
compromised; and thus generally prevent electoral outcomes reflective
of the will of the voters, as envisaged by law? It is understandable
that an attitude of cynical expediency in some politicians may
inevitably conclude that “the end justifies the means”. However, those
who are governed by such a cynical mentality need to be reminded that
a huge moral burden would perpetually sour such temporary “victories”.
Like the myth of Sisyphus, it is surely a backward slide in our
political evolution. Let us think deeply please.
Finally, I thank everyone who has supported us during this long and
arduous journey in the political evolution of Rivers State. May God
satisfy you with blessings from the depth of His unfathomable love, so
that you will eternally remain true to all that is noble and just.
Remember, we are ultimately greater together!
God bless Rivers State; and God bless us all.
Amaopusenibo (Hon.) Dakuku Adol Peterside, PhD
January 28, 2016