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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC), led federal government of appointing only Vice Chancellors that would help the party rig the 2023 elections.
Wike noted that he recently discovered that only compromised academics who are willing to submit names of politically exposed lecturers as returning officers to rig elections for the ruling party are being appointed as Vice Chancellors of federal universities.
Wike, who warned Vice-Chancellors and lecturers to be cautious of attempts by some unscrupulous politicians to use them to manipulate elections, declared that those contemplating rig elections in Rivers State will be treated as coup plotters.
The Special Assistant to the governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, in a statement in Port Harcourt, pointed out that Wike made the during the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of 9200 capacity ultramodern convocation arena of the University of Port Harcourt by the Rivers State government on Tuesday.
Wike lamented that is worrisome that Nigeria has degenerated to the point where politicians now influence who becomes a Vice-Chancellor of a federal government for the purposes of rigging elections.
He said: ‘Let me warn, not one person will dare to rig election in Rivers State. Not one person will dare it. I have told people, allow the university community to produce those who will be leaders of this country.
‘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.’
He stressed that the reason there is so much tussle these days on who becomes Vice-Chancellor of federal universities is because of political interference by extraneous forces.
He described as heartrending a situation whereby lecturers who are supposed to revered in society, wilfully compromise their integrity, just to become Vice-Chancellor, who will afterward be used to manipulate elections.
Wike said: ‘These days, you see a lecturer, a PhD holder, a professor ready to soil his name, to allow himself to be kidnapped and taken somewhere to sign result and to declare somebody who did not win election winner.’
The governor enjoined desperate politicians in the ruling party not to dent the integrity of the university system because of their inordinate ambition.
The Governor, however, warned that any Vice-Chancellor that allows himself to be used to rig election in Rivers State should be prepared for the consequences of such hideous act.
The governor declared that the 2023 general election will be completely different from the 2019 election which was manipulated by the ruling party. He insisted that attempts to prevent transmission to election results electronically will be resisted.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK