Rivers Gov Race: Candidates Claim Victory …As monarchs Flay National Peace Committee Silence
As Rivers electorate await the final declaration of the winner in the governorship election, the major contestants, Governor Nyesom Wike of the PDP, Engr. Biokpomabo of the AAC and Precious Elekima of the SDP are all claiming victory.
However, as the panel constituted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the Rivers State governorship election submits its report there are indications that the panel may have recommended the use of results obtained from the various polling units to determine the actual winner of the election.
Reports reaching The Vortex said the panel decided to adopt the process following various submissions made to it by stakeholders including the political parties that participated in the election and the various Returning Officers and Electoral Officers engaged by the commission for the elections.
According to sources close to the panel, reports of undue external interference were widely reported to the panel by most of the EOs and ROs from the various local government collation centres in the state.
Also the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reportedly presented overwhelming evidence indicting members of the Nigerian military in the invasion of the collation centres and alleged manipulation of results. The party was also said to have tendered copies of results from the various polling units where election were held.
Governor Nyesom Wike, the candidate of the PDP in the election who also appeared before the panel had submitted that the results which the APC/African Action Congress (ACC) alliance was circulating were cooked up figures written by the agents of the APC in collusion with soldiers and security agencies.
Wike was said to have provided pictures and other evidence which showed the Army’s invasion of the various collation centres where other party agents were chased out leaving only agents of the APC and ACC to carry out alleged nefarious acts.
The panel also received submission from the candidate of the ACC, Engr. Biokpomabo Awara and candidates of other parties.
There are indications that if the polling units of the elections were used in determining the actual result of the election, Governor Nyesom Wike would likely coast to victory.
INEC suspended the process of result collation for the state over reported violence, undue interferences and attacks on staff of the commission. The commission is expected to take its next step as the announcement of the results of the election is being awaited.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers has criticized the silence by the National Peace Committee headed by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar over the crisis in the governorship and State Assembly elections in Rivers state.
The traditional rulers wondered why the committee has failed to call all parties and the military to order and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare all verifiable results of Saturday’s Rivers State Governorship Election on units and ward basis.
Chairman, rivers state council of Traditional Rulers and Amayanabo of Opobo, King Douglas Dandeson Jaja at a press conference said, “we urge INEC to declare all verifiable results and immediately look into only compromised results on units and wards basis, where boxes were snatched by thugs or military personnel. We cannot go through round of elections at a later date. INEC must ensure that collated results are declared and not tampered with by third parties”.
They expressed disappointment with the alleged involvement of the military and SARS personnel in the direct process of the 2019 elections in Rivers State.
The traditional rulers said: “What we have today is a few Government appointees using Federal apparatus, including men in uniform to cause chaos and breakdown of law and order. Our people who have attempted to resist such illegality have either been arrested or dealt with extra-judicially.”
They regretted that Rivers communities have been militarised, with innocent people harassed, arrested and detained.
“We are sad to note that in many kingdoms and communities, the uniformed or military men were actively involved in giving cover to politicians and their thugs who are carting ballot boxes and result sheets. There are also allegations that some of these uniformed personnel are ‘fake soldiers’ but the real soldiers have not arrested any of the so called fake soldiers involved in these dastardly acts.