‘Why INEC, Security Agencies Must Sign Deal’ …For Credible, Peaceful 2019 Elections
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and security agencies to sign peace accord to respect the provisions and tenets of the electoral act.
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television yesterday, he cautioned that the peace accord signed by the Presidential candidates of the political parties may not work as it is not sincere.
The governor said the people of Rivers State will not fold their arms and watch INEC, and security agencies rig election for the APC adding that the commission cannot be trusted to conduct credible polls this year because of their inconsistent actions.
Wike also noted that the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act was a sign that the president is not committed to credible polls.
According to him, “INEC has different interpretations of judgements depending on where it is coming from.
“When the court nullified the Rivers All Progressives Congress, APC, primaries, a lawyer of one of the factions wrote to INEC not to recognise any candidate because of the judgment. INEC wrote to APC notifying them of outcome of that judgment.
“INEC merely said they were in receipt of the letter requesting that INEC should obey. In the case of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, INEC wrote to PDP in Ogun State, where Buruji (Kashamu) dragged the party to court, telling them they will comply.
“When there is a judgement against PDP, there is immediate enforcement. When it concerns APC, INEC says they are studying the judgement. In the case of Ogun State PDP, INEC quickly obeyed the judgement.
“I was shocked that the president did not sign the Electoral Act. In my matter, the Supreme Court appreciated the card reader, but said it was not backed by law. They called for the Electoral Act to be amended for more credible polls.
“He said he wants to leave a legacy of free and fair elections, but he refused to sign the Electoral Act that will facilitate the process. If Mr. President had signed the Electoral Act, it would have made it difficult to manipulate. But he refused to sign the law.”
Wike alleged that the electoral umpire had been involved in several under-the-table actions in Rivers State since 2015.
He said during the rerun elections, INEC connived with the Police to deny the people of Rivers East senatorial district their rightful mandate adding that they try to manipulate the process against the will of the people.
The governor noted that security agencies had played negative roles in over-heating the polity in Rivers State adding that INEC and security agencies should commit themselves to work towards credible polls, and should sign a pact to respect the tenets of the Electoral Act.
“It is INEC and security that don’t want us to have peaceful elections in Rivers State. Why do they want to capitalize on the claim that politicians are the ones that compel them to act illegally,” he asked.