Wazobia Reporters – we cover the nation | news | entertainment | education | foreign | business | sports

Rivers APC, ADC, others accuse INEC of plot to rig polls for PDP

The Rivers State chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), National Rescue Movement (NRM), Accord, Action Alliance (AA), and the African Democratic Congress (ADC) have accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of an alleged plot to rig Saturday’s gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

The parties said some top INEC officials are in connivance with officials of the Rivers State Government and the PDP to rig the forthcoming polls in the state in favour of the party’s (PDP) candidates.

They said they have information that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has concluded plans to use the 23 Local Government Area Council Secretariats serving as LGA Collation Centres by the INEC to rig and manipulate the results of the March 18 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.

They said this at a joint press conference addressed in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Wednesday by the governorship candidates of the APC, Tonye Cole; NRM, Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich; AA, Dr Dawari George; Accord, Dumo Lulu-Briggs; and ADC, Tonte Ibraye.

“Governor Wike has instructed all LGA Executive Chairmen, as the chief security officers of their respective Local Government Areas, to carry out what he calls ‘Operation No Mercy’ on every other party agent. The Council Chairmen are to ensure those agents representing their parties’ interests do not have access to the collation centres.

“The PDP government of Rivers State has also assured INEC officials of their safety provided they comply with the PDP agents to manipulate the process before taking it out to the state collation centre,” the gubernatorial candidates added.

The candidates, however, called on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and every relevant authority to stop all government officials from accessing the collation centres during the forthcoming elections.

“In accordance with Section 43(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 prohibiting government officials from acting or serving as agents to political parties at elections, INEC and relevant security authorities should restrict the movement of all Rivers State Government officials beginning with Governor Wike down to the Executive Chairmen of the Councils. INEC should ensure that all categories of officials prohibited by the Electoral Act stay away from the collation centres as their presence will compromise the process.

“Only persons who are party agents according to law and designated INEC officials should have access to the collation centres at the Ward, LGA and state levels only party agents be allowed access to collation centres.

“On no account should Governor Wike be exempt from the restrictions of access to collation centres in accordance with the law. Moreover, as his presence at the Obio/Akpor Council collation centre in the last and previous elections compromised the process and cast doubts on the credibility and ability of INEC to conduct free, fair, and credible elections in the state.

“Activities of INEC officials and ad-hoc staff be closely monitored as there is connivance between some INEC officials and officials of the Rivers State Government to rig and compromise the process in favour of the PDP,” they added.

The governorship candidates further called for peaceful, free, fair, and credible elections in Rivers State “where the will of the people will not be subverted as we saw during the presidential and National Assembly elections.”

The gubernatorial candidates also enjoined INEC to do the right thing in the March 18 elections and not make themselves willing tools and enemies of Rivers State by conniving with those with ulterior motives to compromise the process.

They, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies to intensify surveillance on INEC and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to safeguard the electoral process and the forthcoming elections in Rivers State.

“Foreign missions and International Elections Observers must take deep interest in the elections in Rivers State to avert any danger and subversion of the will of majority of Rivers people and the electorate here,” the candidates added.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.