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Nigeria: AC Petitions Abuja Over Rivers Election

Nigeria: AC Petitions Abuja Over Rivers Election

Akanimo Sampson
Bureau Chief,Port Harcourt

THE Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill, has taken his battle against the April 14 polls in the state to Abuja, urging for a cancellation of the elections.

In a petition dated April 14, to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Maurice Iwu, which was made available to the press on Wednesday evening, the AC gubernatorial flagbearer claimed that the election was fraudulent. The petition reads:

For those of us who pitch tent with the school of thought that election is a key to democracy, where actors in the political process must be made to obey the rule of law and observe the provisions the Electoral Act – the shameless outcome of Saturday’s election in Rivers State leaves much to be desired, and a dirty scar on the electoral process as well as become a clog in the wheels of the country’s transition programme.

It is our belief that what Nigeria, Nigerians living in the Diaspora and the international community look onto or rather crave for in the President Obasanjo’s civilian to civilian transition programme is the conduct of a credible, free, fair and widely acceptable election result.

But regrettably, in Rivers State, it was a different ball game as the entire election was fraudulent and characterized by massive irregularities in virtually all the Local Government Areas.

Not only was voting deliberately delayed without any justifiable reason in most areas, sensitive election materials like result sheets were fake, with almost all the polling centres provided with insufficient ballot boxes etc.

In the light of the afore stated, we are therefore bringing it to the notice of this Commission that the following irresponsible, shameless, undemocratic, morally debasing and dastardly acts were perpetrated in all the riverside LGAs as well as other places considered to be the stronghold of the AC Governorship candidate, Prince Tonye Princewill.

1. In Asari Toru LGA, election could not hold as materials provided by the INEC arrived very late, hijacked by PDP party officials in all the wards, the INEC result sheets and most of the sensitive Election documents were removed.

The fact that the materials were kept at the Buguma Divisional Police Headquarters till 1PM with PDP party officials without any convincing explanation from the Police and INEC officials raised the curiosity of the electorates who stood patiently under the scorching sun to know what actually was delaying the commencement of voting.


On arrival at the Police station, the Action Congress Gubernatorial candidate, Prince Tonye Princewill who hails from Buguma, his Accord Party counterpart Bekinbo Soberekon, party chieftains, stakeholders etc sought for clarification only to find out from the INEC officials that about Seven thousand (7000) ballot papers were removed, some ballot boxes missing as well as the provision of fake result sheets in place of the original copies.

Video evidence abound where miscreants working for the PDP led government in the State were caught in Nana Hotel situated at D Line in Port-Harcourt city stuffing and illegally collating results of an election that did not hold. Nana Hotel is owned by Chief Briggs a one time Commissioner for Works under Dr Odili's administration.

In Ward 1 and 2 Elekahia, Phalga Constituency 1,voting was marred by rigging and thuggery.

No election was equally conducted in Khana Constituency 2. As at 4:26pm, no election material was provided in any part of the Constituency.

However, it was later discovered that the bedroom of one Honourable Leyii Kwanee was used as the polling unit in Taabaa being one of the central villages LGA Ward 8.

In Ward 3 being Lueku, the PDP rigged the election in the parlour of one Mrs. Sarah Ntorue with the use of armed Policemen.
Also in Ward 4 in Sogho village along East- West road, election was rigged by the PDP in Menele Nzidee’s residence.
On the part of registration cards, one Mr, Nadum Nule, a civil servant now residing in CSS Beeri ceased all the voters’ cards in favour of the PDP.

In Ahoada West LGA, the story was the same as the PDP agents connived with INEC officials, security operatives and thugs to stop the election from holding. All the materials meant for the election were hijacked by the following persons: Eze Ekpeye Lo Ogbo, HRM Eze Robinson O Robinson; Chief A. M. Okpokiri Executive Chairman Ahoada West; Hon. Rev. Hope Ikiriko House of Assembly Member; Blessing Agbi; Tony Agbi; Emenike Akio; B. U. Dickson(Ward 2); Chairman PDP Odiokwu etc.

In Abua/Odua LGA, voting did not hold in the 13 Wards because election materials were not made available to the 182 polling units.

Also in Etche Constituency 1, election did not hold.

In Tai LGA, voting did not take place as election materials were kept in the Houses of the following PDP agents: Mr. Joseph Nyorko, Ward 5 Kira/Borobara; Chief Mondi Nabor,Ward 2 Kpite etc.

Equally, voting did not take place in (a) Bonny, (b) Ogu/Bolo, (c) Degema/Delga LGAs due to wide spread irregularities in favour of the PDP.

In (a) Andoni and (b) Eleme LGAs, the election was characterized by technical hitches like hijacking of materials, provision of fake result sheets, intimidation etc perpetrated by miscreants working for the PDP before the watchful eyes of security agents.

Also, in Akuku Toru LGA, election was not held due to non compliance with certain provisions of Electoral Act as amended; juxtaposition of Wards’ ballot papers and disappearance of result sheets.

The Coalition of opposition political parties in the State had recently addressed the press rejecting and condemning the conduct of the Gubernatorial election in the State. In the same vein many Royal Fathers and stake-holders in the State had on various occasions condemned the irregularities that characterised the conduct of the election.

The International Observers in the State were also interviewed on tape where they stated that election did not take place in the State and submitted to us some of the pictures they took colloborating their findings in the State.

Funny enough in the allocation of votes by INEC in collaboration with PDP in the State to the parties in absence of any credible election in the State, AC that was leading in the public poll prior the election was placed fourth to demonstrate the unseriousness of the whole excerise

In view of all these anomalies, which grossly violated the provisions of the country’s Electoral Act, the only way this Commission will save its pedigree and image from public persecution, and probably disabuse the minds of Rivers people and Nigerians in general from the highly orchestrated speculation that the electoral body was used by agents of the PDP government in the State as a conduit to disenfranchise the electorates is by outright cancellation of the election in Rivers State, with a new date fixed for proper voting.

At this juncture, let us place it on record that any attempt to wickedly deny the entire people of this State their legitimate and fundamental right of voting into power a candidate of their choice will be decisively resisted.

We have in the past eight years lost about fifty thousand of our industrious youths through election related violence as a result of open day rigging.

This strategy to cause mayhem in our State through subversion of the peoples’ electoral powers will not only be resisted but frustrated through legal means.

All we are saying is that there must be an election in the State. Sacrificing the blood of our people to achieve selfish ambition is enough and we need not be pushed to the wall again.

The era of foisting an unpopular and widely unacceptable candidate on the people of Rivers State through rigging of election has gone.


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