In Nigeria at the moment, whoever is favoured in the elections praises the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) while those not favoured berate the commission. Now, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has expressed happiness with the decision of the electoral umpire to collate results.
It seems the PDP sees glimps of the outcome. The PDP boss in the state, Bro Felix Obuah, has spoken.
Recall that the INEC, on 10th March 2019 suspended all electoral processes in Rivers State and set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the manifest disruption of the collation of the results of the 9th March 2019 Governorship and House of Assembly general elections by the Army and the Federal-State Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS)
After a thorough and holistic review of the report and findings of its Committee, INEC has in a release on the night of Friday 15th March 2019 made three fundamental verdictson the elections in Rivers State, as follows: (i) it has the complete collated results of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in 17 local Government Areas of the State in safe custody; (ii) 21 out of 32 State constituency results of the State had already been declared and returned as elected prior to when it suspended the electoral process in the State; and (iii)it would on 20th March 2019 issue detailed timelines and activities for the completion of the election in the State.
The PDP accepts the afore-mentioned pronouncements of the INEC as substantial representation of the true state of the electoral process before the suspension.
However, we wish to draw the INEC’s attention to the fact that in addition to the 17 Local Government Areas with fully collated results, the elections also successfully held and results declared at the unit and ward levels in five of the six other Local Government Areas where full collation of results is still pending.
We therefore urge the INEC to follow its guidelines to fill the missing gap, if any, in the collation process for the remaining five Local Government Areas by generating the full results from the unit results already in its custody and declare our candidates the clear and unassailable winners of the 9th March 2019 Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State.
We commend the INEC for standing by the truth and for its courage and principled determination to ensure that the votes of the people of Rivers State as freely and overwhelmingly expressed on the 9th of March 2019 in favour of the PDP effectively count.
We also commend the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Yusuf Tukur Buratai for inaugurating the Major-General TA Gagariga’s led Committee to probe the allegations of misconduct, including the assassination attempt on our Governor, His Excellency Nyesom Ezenwo Wike by soldiers during the 2019 general elections.
We wish to assure the Chief of Army Staff that the PDP will appear, present and prove before the Committee with facts and evidence of the atrocities committed by his soldiers against the electoral process and the people of Rivers State before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
In the same vein, we wish to call on the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed Adamuto institute a similar panel to probe the brazen involvement of the Rivers State Commander of F-SARS, Mr. Akin Fakorode and his gang of police operatives in the organized invasion of polling units, collation centers, abduction of electoral officers and the shooting and killing of innocent persons during the general elections at Khana, Gokana, Ikwerre, Eleme, Tai, Oyigbo and Ogu/Bolo Local Governments of the State.
As we speak, one of the victims of Akin Fakorode’s assault, Dr. Ferry Gberegbe, a senior lecturer at the Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic has died of gunshot wounds, while Mr. Marvin Lezor Kpea-ue, Raymond Ledogo and several persons are presently battling with life-threatening injuries inflicted on them by Akin Fakorode and his murderous gang.
We wish to reiterate that Mr. Akin Fakorede has over the years become a recurrent obstacle to the peaceful conduct of general elections in Rivers State; and he does so with provocative bravado and criminality.
It is on record that Mr. Akin Fokorode was copiously indicted by INEC’s investigative panel for direct interference and involvement in the violence and rigging that characterized the 10th December 2016 and 18thAugust 2018 Legislative Houses re-run elections in Rivers State.
Unfortunately and to the consternation of law abiding citizens, because nothing has been done to bring him to justice, Mr. Akin Fakorode continues to revel in his criminally culpable assault against our electoral system and the people of Rivers State and getting away with willful assault, murder and criminal violence as if he is above the law.
This time around, it is our hope and prayer that Akin Fakorode must not escape justice for his numerous crimes against the electoral system and the people of Rivers State, which can only happen with his arrest, investigation and trial as the law demands. Otherwise, such acts of impunity and disregard for the laws of our country will not stop.
Finally, we call on the people of Rivers State to remain calm, cooperate and allow the INEC to process and successfully bring the Governorship and House of Assembly elections to a glorious end.
Once again, we thank the people of Rivers State for overwhelmingly voting for the PDP during the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
We are grateful. Rivers State is PDP. Rivers State will remain PDP.