Outgoing Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday described Nigeria’s 206 million population figure and 93.5 million voter number as “false.”
He stated this during a media chat with a select group of journalists in Port Harcourt, the state capitalcapital.
Wike said the Bimodial Voter Accreditation System had exposed the bloated nature of the figures.
He said in the past when manual accreditation was being used in elections, figures were manufactured by politicians.
He said the same thing happened n terms of previous census because of the inherent benefits arising from huge population figures.
He also advised the Independent National Electoral Commission to train its staffers in the use of the machine and general election matters.
He suggested that even the ad hoc staffers could be given a full week of training to acquaint them with election matters.
He claimed ignorance of the arrest of one serving and one former commissioners as well as 49 ad hoc INEC staffers for allegedly thumbprinting ballot papers at an unnamed event centre.
Wike, who looked visibly shocked when a reporter raised the question, insisted that it had not been brought to his notice.
Asked areas he would want the governor-elect Siminalayi Fubara, to focus on, he listed basic education and security.
He noted that his administration had done its best in both areas, despite opposition to the setting up of a Neighbourhood Watch by a former army chief.
He accused governorship candidates of some other parties of cooking up stories about violence during the recent elections.
He accused the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, of ingratitude over the latter’s accusation that the governor worked against him during the poll.
He stated that he would invite President-elect Bola Tinubu to commission some projects soon.
Asked if it was a way of positioning himself for consideration under Tinubu, the governor said he had no such plan.
He said that few months ago, he invited Obi and the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to inaugurate projects.