Dr. Dawari George the APC candidate for Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency in the forthcoming rerun elections says his attention has been drawn to a media statement credited to Mr. Samuel Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Governor of Rivers State on Electronic Media, alleging that he connived with a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt to draw up a list of returning officers from the institution with the aim of rigging the re-run legislative elections scheduled for March 19, 2016.
Mr. Dawari in a press statement said ordinarily, such a wild and inane allegation would not have merited a response from him but regrettably, he was compelled to respond because the allegation was credited to no less a person than the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.
According to Mr. Dawari, the Governor was reported to have made the allegation when he hosted the Vice Chancellor and management of the University of Port Harcourt at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The statement reads: “For the records, I am neither a staff of University of Port Harcourt nor the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The management of the University is not answerable to me or my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Moreover the responsibility of enlisting electoral officials is the exclusive preserve of INEC and not an individual or a political party.
“As a politician and candidate in the March 19, 2016 re-run elections, I have conducted a sober, issue-based campaign. I have refrained from the indecorous campaign of name-calling and abuse which fail to enrich our political communication.
“In the circumstance, two main reasons may be adduced for this inane accusation: first, to injure my reputation, and second, to induce me to respond in like manner and thereby present me undignified before the March 19, 2016 re-run elections.
“It will seem to me that with the overwhelming support that my candidature is receiving from the people of the Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency across all political divides; the only tool left to my political opponents is to assassinate my character. I however refuse to be dragged into the arena of the weird war of words which has become the sad testament of Rivers politics.
“May I respectfully remind Governor Nyesom Wike that the office of Governor is highly revered. It thus imposes upon him a higher standard of duty of care for all citizens. Governor Wike may wish to cross-check all information fed him by people seeking his approval so that he is not sucked into making inane allegations against Rivers State citizens; otherwise the office of Governor will end up being ridiculed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the people of Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru Federal Constituency have had a taste of most of the candidates vying for their votes, and they alone will make their choice through the ballot.”