The disqualification handed the chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Degema by Governor Nyesom Wike, did not come to me as a surprise. In short, I would have written off the proposed council polls had Governor Wike thought it twice to act given the spate of violent shootings that had characterised the debate by the aspirants in Degema.
For someone who has mouthed it next to his name that ‘Rivers State is safe’ the decision to disqualify the key actors in that despicable act of violence is in order. However, the government should set up an enquiry so as to ascertain what actually happened, who were involved and who were innocent.
There has also been a debate, especially on social media, as to whether the governor is constitutionally vested with the power to disqualify the candidates. I think that beyond the party, the governor as the chief security officer of the state has a role to play in issues concerning break down of law and order in the state.
Allowing this to go unchecked would have set a dangerous precedent and would have been the mirror with which the 2019 general elections would have been viewed.
There should be a proactive approach to issues of election in the state, where candidates would shoot their way to power and spend their tenure servicing the political position with violence.
We deserve violence-free elections in Rivers State.
Kenechi writes from Port-Harcourt