The Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation (TCCO) coordinating the 2023 Rivers state governorship campaigns of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer has accused Governor Nyesom Wike of waging war against democracy by his signing of Executive Order 21 which restricts the use of public schools for campaigns.

Wike, Rivers governor, has come under knocks since drawing stakeholders’ attention to the harsh sanctions awaiting violators of Executive Order 21 which requires anyone holding political rallies in Rivers to seek state approval through the commissioner for education at least two weeks before a such rally in an application that must be accompanied with a nonrefundable five million naira.

In the TCCO’s reservation over the development, Sogbeye Eli, Spokesman, in a statement yesterday lamented as unfortunate, “Attempt by Wike to stiffle the political space for opposition political parties in Rivers with signing into law an obnoxious Executive Order 21.

“For a man with such notorious aversion for civil engagements, we know it will be easier for the camel to pass through the eye of the needle, than for the opposition parties to secure approvals from Wike’s appointees and cheerleaders.

“We state unequivocally that Executive Order 21 is deliberate and part of the plot by the Governor to stifle competition from other political parties. It is another manifestation of his penchant to brutally crush and suppress opposition in a multiparty democracy instead of allowing citizens exercise their freedom of choice as enshrined in the Constitution.

“We will neither succumb to intimidation nor accept the presentation of a fait accompli by Executive Order 21 to political parties other than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on which platform they and the Governor were elected in the first place.”

The Cole campaign team further chided the governor on, “Recent macabre dance between him and the rubber-stamp State House of Assembly, wherein they claimed, in a snow of shame, to have de-recognised Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of Rivers, an act that brought ridicule and opprobrium to the institutions of governance in Rivers.

“The de-recognition of Omehia cannot be said to be a restoration of any legality. It arose not as correction of any past wrong or error. It is a display of punitive arrogance incompatible with the Rivers State we plan to lead. No Rivers Governor should run this State as a personal property in the manifest political intolerance of Wike.

“Punishing Omehia for supporting the Atiku Abubakar 2023 presidential quest is politics taken to levels of unprecedented absurdity. Of course, Wike has no right protecting his breach of the laws of the land and should never be allowed to do so at the expense of any citizen.”