The two political rival parties in Rivers State spent all of Thursday to argue who has won the governorship elections in the state. Rivers is the only state where the election is still a rancour. Others have been declared or are inconclusive.
APC: Give it to AAC
From all indications, it clear that the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is resolute on causing breach of the peace in Rivers State. We need not remind the Chairman and all those working to cause breakdown of Law and Order in Rivers State that under the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), once an election result has been collated and announced at the Collation Centre, not even the National Chairman of INEC can cancel such results except an Election Tribunal.
This was reemphasized by the Supreme Court in the case of IKPEAZU v. OTTI (2016) LPELR-40055(SC) pp.31-32, para D-B; DOMA v. INEC (2012) All NWLR (Pt.628), 814 at 833.
The question is: if the National Chairman is not aware of this settled position of the law, does his Legal Department which also has the presence of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria not also aware? The answer and the truth is that the National Chairman of INEC is fully aware of this position of the law, as members of the Legal Department has formally advised him on this, but he is adamant. He wants to subvert the law at all cost, just to please his friend and former boss Nyesom Wike.
We are using this medium to call on Mr. President, the National Security Adviser and all relevant security agencies and stakeholders to prevail on the National Chairman of INEC to declare Mr. Biokpomabo Awara of the African Action Congress who has won the Saturday Gubernatorial Election in Rivers State, except the National Chairman of INEC is resolute on causing unrest in Rivers State.
Governor Nyesom Wike is not without a remedy, if he strongly feels the results are wrong. He can approach the Electoral Tribunal to set aside the results.
Nigeria and the Security Agencies should hold the National Chairman of INEC and the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State should there be a breakdown of Law and Order in the State.
PDP : why it should be Wike
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has stated that there is no ambiguity from results so far released in the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State Assembly elections, as Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has been duly re-elected for a second term.
The Party, at a press conference addressed by State Chairman, Bro. Felix Obuah at the PDP Secretariat in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare Governor Wike winner of the election, adding that the results from all polling units and constituencies where elections were concluded have confirmed and reaffirmed that Rivers people voted no other party but the PDP.
Bro. Obuah, at the meeting that was attended by all stakeholders of the party in the State including all the elected State Assembly members, House of Representatives-elect as well as Senators-elect said with 26 State Constituencies already declared in favour of the PDP, there is no iota of doubt that Governor Wike has been re-elected by the good people of Rivers State.
He expressed confidence that from the results so far declared at the units across the State, the remaining PDP candidates, including Governor Wike, Senator George Thompson Sekibo and Hon. Betty Apiafi will also be elected on the strength of the peoples’ votes.
Giving a summary of the results so far released by INEC, the State PDP Chairman said that while PDP garnered a total of 26 seats in the State House of Assembly election, AAC/APC got none. Again, at the National Assembly election, while PDP won a total of 14 seats, AAC/APC recorded zero.
“As we await the official declaration by INEC that our Governorship Candidate, His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has been duly reelected in line with the peoples’ votes and overwhelming wishes, I urge the people of Rivers State to remain vigilant and continue to support our party”, Bro. Obuah said, amid ovation from the audience.
He went on: “The victories of February 23rd and March 9, 2019 are victories for all Rivers people. By voting massively for PDP, Rivers people chose freedom, performance and merit over political gangsterism, impudence and impunity.
“You courageously stood your ground despite the arrests, harassment, violence and horrific onslaught on our democratic rights by the combined gang of renegade soldiers and F-SARS personnel. I want to assure the people of Rivers State that PDP will not take your support for granted”.
He urged the people of the State to remain vigilant and continue to support the PDP, as the official declaration by INEC that Wike has been duly re-elected in line with the peoples’ votes, is being awaited.
While applauding the people of the State for overwhelmingly voting for all PDP candidates, Bro. Obuah assured that the second term of Governor Wike will generate more pro-people projects and programmes for the good and development of Rivers people.