By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURTâ€” GOVERNOR Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has joined the call for credible elections come 2011. Noting that only a free and fair election can guarantee popular democracy, the Governor said votes should be allowed to determine who governs.
Governor Amaechi, who spokeÂ during aÂ state dinnerÂ to mark the 2010 Democracy DayÂ in Port Harcourt, said that the only way to have an elected democratic government is for votes to count.
The Governor differentiated between an electedÂ andÂ civilian government, describing an elected government as oneÂ which emanates from the people through a genuine election, while a civilian government is the one in which some rich men sit together and vote on behalf of the people and then announce the government.
According to him, â€œa civilian government is usually not accountable to the people because they will not return to the people to ask for votes but the only way to have an elected government is when peoplesâ€™ votes count.â€
He argued that the strength of any democracy is in a virile democratic institution with strong legislature, executive and judiciary.
The Governor, who said one of the vows he made to God on assumption of office was to touch the lives of the poor while strengthening the rich.
He noted that the only way to attend to the poor is to afford them the same opportunities that the richÂ afford themselves by providing quality education, adding that the schools being built by the government are expected to be free for the people.
He hinted that the present administration in the state is working hard to revive the morality instilled in the people from generations. He addedÂ that the only way to achieve it was by building institutions that would bridge the gap, such as schools, health institutions and other infrastructural facilities.