Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said on Thursday that he never joined the Peoples Democratic Party in rigging elections when he was a member of the party.
Amaechi made the declaration in Government House Port Harcourt urged the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to defend his reputation by conducting a free, fair and credible election next year.
Amaechi now a member of the Opposition All Progressives Congress, said that other members of the PDP saw him as a different person because he did not agree with them on many issues, including rigging.
Amaechi pointed out that as a governor, he had always insisted that the people’s mandate remained critical, adding that the people should collect their permanent voter cards to ensure that their votes count in the forthcoming elections.
“People have confronted me in different fora that all these things that you have done, how are we sure that they can be sustained and I said the only way you can sustain them is to make sure that you vote for somebody that comes from the party that I come from because that party will run the same programmes as I have ran.
“An example is that all of you who have followed me will know that I am quite different from the normal PDP person. When I was in the PDP, they saw me as a different person all together because I never stood with them on a lot of issues, including rigging.
“You can ask them; you can ask the PDP if I supported rigging. Before you wake up and go to the place (election venue), I have finished. As a people’s governor, we insist that the people’s mandate is critical and it is important. I don’t know what the PDP does when it comes to voting; I don’t participate; I don’t know what they do. But I assure you that this time, our votes must count.”
“Even those who are in PDP too; it is important for all of us to go and collect our voter cards. And for those who have not registered, there are some wards or units that their names were either omitted or wrongly written, they should also get registered afresh,” he said.
Amaechi, however, expressed the need for the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission to do what was expected of him and ensure that the 2015 poll was conducted in a credible manner.
“INEC said they are conducting continuous registration and collation of the permanent voter cards in seven out of the 23 local government areas in the state due to technical problem. We sympathise with INEC and we join them to pray that they will quickly find solutions to their problems.
“In my unit in Ubima, the names of some of those who had earlier registered were not seen in the voter’s register. We expect INEC to register them again. We look forward to a fresh registration anywhere such problems are noticed,” Amaechi said.