Posted by News Express | 26 February 2017 | 1,561 times
•Dr Dakuku Peterside.
One of All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in Rivers State, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has accused Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state of being compromised by Governor Nyesom Wike.
He has also accused the governor of manhandling INEC officials and forcing them to do his bidding all in an effort to prove that his factionalised PDP is a popular party in Rivers State.
In an interview with journalists in Port Harcourt, Dr Peterside expressed regrets over the way and manner INEC in Rivers State went about announcing results from an election, which the Commission had earlier declared inconclusive. He stressed that INEC clearly violated its own rules and guidelines.
According to him, “The results clearly do not reflect what transpired during the election of yesterday, even though it added the discredited results of earlier elections of March 19 and December 10 last year.” Peterside pointed out that in many areas, thugs and hoodlums hired by Governor Wike and PDP intimidated voters, while in some cases, INEC officials were abducted.
It is on record that security personnel arrested loyalists of Governor Wike and mercenaries hired by the PDP with dangerous weapons.
He said: “Wike arrived INEC office at about 12:35am yesterday and attempted to force the Returning Officer to announce results which the official had earlier declared inconclusive as elections did not take place in majority of the polling booths. The returning officer insisted that announcing results the way it is would amount to discrediting substantial number of voters who were denied opportunity to vote by thugs and hoodlums.
“How could INEC allow itself to be compromised by Wike, who has a long history of bribing electoral officials? Only recently, INEC officials who served in the state during last December 10rerun election were indicted by police for receiving several millions of naira to influence results.
“Wike was seen with INEC officials computing results of the election. How did the governor get there, is the governor a returning officer, is he an INEC official or a security agent?
“How could Wike be standing with INEC officials where results are being computed? Under which law is a governor permitted to be present where results are being computed for legislative elections in a local government that is clearly not his? Am sure Rivers people are watching this.
“At every election, Wike becomes desperate, as if his life depends on the outcome. He becomes desperate because he wants the people to believe that only PDP exists in Rivers state. Why is he afraid of a free and fair process that will allow Rivers people chose their preferred candidates?”
The former House of Representatives member for Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency appealed to party faithful in the state to continue to toe the path of peace, insisting that in due course, Rivers people will know those genuinely interested in progress of the state.