Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State had on Tuesday admonished university vice chancellors and lecturers in Rivers State that rigging elections in the state is tantamount to coup plotters offence and punishment. The governor cautioned that coup is treasonable felony offence punishable by death in the Nigerian Constitution.
Governor Wike was, however, perceived to have intimidated the university scholars out of context and taking extremist position not covered by law on electoral offences. The Electoral Act 2010 stipulated the highest punishment for electoral offence as N50 million or “a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years or both.”
However, being grieved by the magnitude of election rigging in Nigeria, Governor Wike, laying the foundation for the construction of a 9,200 capacity Convocation Arena of the University of Port Harcourt, had declared: “Let me warn: not one person will dare to rig elections in Rivers State. Not one person will dare it.
“I have told people: allow university community to produce those who will be leaders of this country.”
The governor lamented that election riggers are coup plotters, admonishing the university workers of the consequences of coup, which he said is death penalty. The maintained that the university teachers should not allow politicians to turn the university community to venue of election malpractice.
According to Governor Wike: “Don’t turn university community to be where you will have politicians who manipulate and change the mandate of the people. Anybody who does that, you know it is a coup, and you know the punishment for coup plotters.”
The Rivers Governors further said that INEC should be prepared for the 2023 general elections ahead of time. He advocated that election results must be electronically transmitted. The governor vowed to resist any attempt to tinker with the Electoral Act 2010, or eliminate electronic transmission of results from the electoral process.
Governor Wike had declared, among others, “INEC knows that they have to be prepared in 2023. And that is why we will resist any attempt for anybody to manipulate the amendment of the Electoral Act, to say that election results will not be transmitted electronically. “If you want the vote of the people to count, the result must be transmitted electronically.”
He assured that his administration will sustain good governance in the state.