Posted by News Express | 20 March 2016 | 3,876 times
The tension in Rivers state over the ongoing legislative rerun election reached its height on Sunday when Nyesom Wike, governor of the state, and Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, confronted each other at the Mile One Police Station in Port Harcourt.
Trouble started on Saturday after Ekwi Adebisa, collation officer of ward 10, Port Harcourt local government (PHALGA), allegedly went missing with the result sheet.
She was later arrested by the police and taken to the station.
Party supporters who had been monitoring the situation informed their leaders that Adebisa had been brought to the station.
Shortly after her arrival, Amaechi showed up in company of Dakuku Peterside, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Safety Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Davis Ikanya; Ibim Semenitari, Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and some APC officials.
Wike also came to the station with some of his party men and both sides engaged in a shouting match. The police later called them for a meeting, which journalists were prevented from attending.
Wike and Amaechi, former allies, were in the news in the lead-up to the election over their provocative utterances.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled re-run election in eight local government areas of Rivers State.
Addressing reporters on Sunday, a day after the re-run election, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, said that the cancelation was due to irregularities at the affected local government areas.
Election held in Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government Areas were the latest to be cancelled.
In a press statement, the INEC official said: “Further to our earlier pronouncement on the suspension of the re-run in the six Local Government Areas of Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai and Eleme, following disturbances and violence that impeded the electoral process in those parts of the state, it has become necessary to suspend elections in Etche and Asari-Toru LGAs for the same reasons.
“Please note that the suspension of the re-run elections by INEC is necessitated by the need to forestall breakdown of law and order in the event of further aggravation of crisis.
“INEC needs to put all stakeholders on notice that we are still studying the situation in the other fifteen LGAs, where collations are currently going on.”
So far, re-run election has been canceled in Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai and Eleme, Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government areas.
The electoral umpire further cited violence, snatching of ballot boxes, non-compliance to electoral law as part of the reasons for cancellation.
INEC said it is reviewing the rest of the process in the re-run polls while collation of results are ongoing.
•Pieced together from reports in Sunday Sun and Channels TV. Photo shows Amaechi and Wike.
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