The All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the April 11 governorship election in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, yesterday hailed the verdict of the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja, which sacked all the lawmakers elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, representing the state in the National Assembly.
The court sacked all the three senators and 12 members of the House of Representatives and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct rerun polls in 60 days, from the date of judgment.
The judgments were delivered in appeals brought by the APC candidates.
Speaking shortly after the announcement, Peterside, who also won a tribunal judgment that nullified the election of the Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike, but which judgment was reserved in an appeal filed by the latter, described the judgment as victory, not only for the people of Rivers State, but also for those who voted at the last general elections.
The former House of Representatives member stated that truth, which is essential in the quest for justice, has prevailed.
Mr. Peterside pointed out that the actions of the Justices of the Appeal Court are demonstrative of a new Nigeria where a few will no longer stifle the voices and collective decision of the majority.
He also wondered why the Rivers PDP was still living in what he termed self-denial, “even as their actions during the elections are well known across Nigeria and beyond”.
“I know that everybody in Rivers State, including our opponents in the last general elections expected these sweeping judgments because we were all witnesses to the widespread violence and irregularities that marred the various elections”, he said.
The APC candidate stressed that as a party and law abiding citizens, they are happy that at last “light has overshadowed darkness, and this in itself is encouraging”, adding that while the journey towards victory at the courts have been winding and most painful, they were steadfast by the assurance that “at all times, truth will always take the limelight over lies and evil, no matter how hard human beings try”.
He also described the landmark judgments as “vindicating and heartening”.
Peterside also sent a message to the PDP, saying “I wish to counsel them to quickly come to terms with the new reality which intensely abhors electoral violence and fraud. No society can make progress in an atmosphere of brute force, violence, ignorance, intolerance, intimidation and all the vices our rivals employed and exhibited before and during the elections. As a people, we must strive to remain civil and accommodating of other views no matter our position for that is the only way to support the growth and sustenance of democracy and liberty”.
“Therefore as we prepare for the impending but crucial re-run elections across our dear state, I call on our people to remember that Rivers, like other states in Nigeria, deserves the very best of representation. We cannot afford to support candidates who are evidently lacking in capacity and in all the necessary tools needed in modern day governance”, he said.