Rivers elections: APC defends military, accuses INEC of working for Wike

National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, (APC), Adams Oshiomhole (m), addressing State House Correspondents after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari at the State House Abuja on Monday (23/7/18). With him are Spokesperson for President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 Campaign, Festus Keyamo (L) and former member of the House of Representatives from Birnin-Kudu in Jigawa State. Hon. Farouk Aliyu Adamu. 03946/23/7/18/Ismaila Ibrahim/NAN
National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, (APC), Adams Oshiomhole 03946/23/7/18/Ismaila Ibrahim/NAN

The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State on Tuesday said officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state were cooperating with Governor Nyesom Wike to announce ‘concocted’ results from the Saturday’s elections.

The party praised the military, which the Peoples Democratic Party, on the other hand, had accused of interference in the Rivers elections. The military on Monday denied the accusation.

It is the APC’s first direct public involvement in the Rivers elections conundrum since it endorsed African Action Congress candidate, Biokpomabo Awara, to challenge Mr Wike of the PDP last week.

The party did not field candidates in the Rivers State elections due to a court order that barred it following its internal crisis.

INEC suspended the electoral process in the state on Sunday and the parties, as well as observers, now await the outcome of the commission’s investigation of reports of disruptions that affected voting and collation of results on Saturday.

Read APC’s full statement below

THE MILITARY DESERVE COMMENDATION FOR SECURING THE PEACE THAT ENABLED RIVERS PEOPLE TO CAST THEIR VOTES …WIKE, INEC RE-WRITING UNIT RESULTS IN GOVT HOUSE – RIVERS APC

Firstly, it is important that I clarify that the Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, was an active stakeholder in last weekend elections and the reason is that we formally endorsed and adopted the AAC governorship candidate, Engr Awara Biokpomabo.

1. We are dismayed that critical stakeholders including those who witnessed the killing of over 40 persons on the 2015 governorship election day alone due to someone’s quest to become governor by all means, appear to be hoodwinked by the very same character to believe that security agents especially the Army should have stayed away to allow a repetition of what happened in 2015.

2. As a party that was solely at the receiving end of killings in Rivers State by the ruling PDP and their agents, the APC believes that the proactive steps taken by security agents to checkmate a repeat of the 2015 killings and destructions, is commendable and should be applauded by all peace-loving people. We believe that if such a step was taken before or during the 2015 elections and thereafter, prominent APC members such as late Chief Christopher Adube and his 5 children and driver would not have been murdered in one fell swoop by PDP agents in ONELGA in just one evening leaving the young son of Chief Adube consigned to the wheel chair to date. Hon. Monday Eleanya, Mr. Frankline Obi, his wife and son killed and beheaded; shooting to death of Mr. Ipalibo Black-Duke in Akuku-Toru, subsequent killings and beheadings of APC members in ONELGA; the gruesome killing of Dr Vincent Eeebee in Yeghe among several others too numerous to mention here would most probably have been avoided.

3. We are satisfied that the 2019 general elections is a clear departure from the orgy of violence and killings that characterised the 2015 elections. However, we send our heartfelt sympathy to the families of the slain INEC ad-hoc staff, Mrs Ibisaki Amachree, who died under curious circumstances while serving his fatherland during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. We also send our profound condolences to the families of the lieutenant of the Nigerian Army and other officers and men who were targeted and killed or injured by criminals in the state. We pray that God grant their souls eternal rest while giving their family members the fortitude to bear their losses.

4. We must establish our disapproval of the tendencies by a section of stakeholders in the polity especially some supposed local and international observers who appear not to appreciate the daunting and onerous task the security agencies are undertaking to ensure that Rivers people were able to come out and vote safely and their vote counted. This is the most unkind way to encourage or pay back those who have and are still risking their lives for the rest of us. We have attached herewith some photos of hospitalised army officers from attacks unleashed on them by agents of PDP while on duty during the elections. Perhaps it is pertinent to remind everyone that the Nigerian Supreme Court described Rivers State as a THEATRE OF WAR during the 2015 elections.

5. We very well recognise that the governor of Rivers State has successfully extended his penchant to bribe every soul under the sun to include observers of elections and other stakeholders in the polity with a view to unleashing highly mendacious blackmail on our hardworking security agents and the intention is to get them out of the way for him to kill his way to power the second time. This is very unfortunate!

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6. We call on Rivers people and Nigerians not to be hoodwinked into believing that Nigerian security agencies interfered in the electoral process in Rivers State. That is only a clever narrative being planted in the media to particularly blackmail the military and the federal government into pulling out security agents from the state and returning it to the killing field many of us witnessed before, during and after the 2015 elections till date. Suffice to say that Rivers State has ever since 2015 become Nigeria’s headquarters of violence.

7. With regard to the governorship election in Rivers State, we have observed with keen interest the macabre dance between Gov. Wike and INEC in Rivers State to upturn the popular will of the people expressed last Saturday and wish to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt its macabre dance with Gov. Wike through its Rivers REC, Obo Effanga who plotted and engaged PDP card-carrying members as LGA Collation Officers just to skew the elections in favour of Gov. Wike and the PDP. It befuddles the mind how a self-confessed hater of President Buhari and his Change Agenda (Obo Effanga) will possibly serve as a REC in Rivers State and give everyone a fair chance. We call on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to redeploy Mr. Effanga from Rivers State without further delay in order to avoid possible crisis that may follow the organised crime being executed by Gov. Wike and Obo Effanga aimed at altering the result of the 2019 governorship polls in Rivers State.

8. From yesterday and throughout last night to this moment, Gov. Nyesom Wike, some PDP leaders, Obo Effanga and some INEC staff have been re-writing unit results, an action we believe must have been initiated on the advice of INEC insiders. The exercise which is taking place in the Banquet Hall of Government House Port Harcourt is still ongoing as I write.

Chris Finebone
State APC Publicity Secretary
12/3/2019

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