By NWADIKE UGOCHUKWU, Port Harcourt
THE Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State Chapter, Bro. Felix Obuah, has reaffirmed that the Party would resist any attempt by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare results of the March 19, 2016, cancelled Legislative Re-run elections in Tai Local Government Area of the State.
Obuah spoke with national daily in Port Harcourt said the move by INEC’s National Commissioner, Amina Zakari, to release the purported Tai Re-run election result was a deliberate and calculated attempt to throw the State into chaos thereby denying the people of the area their fundamental rights and franchise.
The Chairman, who stated that the subterranean moves to announce the cancelled Tai LGA election was being orchestrated by the over ambitious Senator Magnus Abe and Barry Mpigi, touted the duo that their actions amounts to ‘day dreaming’, as the PDP and indeed Rivers people would resist it to the last.
Bro. Obuah further warned that this evil conspiracy between Abe, Mpigi, the All Progressives Congress and Amina Zakari to subvert the will of the people would pose serious threat to the nascent democracy which Nigerians are presently battling to nurture.
He added that the PDP had raised serious and unequivocal objections, including several petitions to the electoral umpire, INEC, warning on the desperation by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates, Abe and Mpigi, to compel the Commission to pronounce results for elections that were cancelled by the same INEC.
For the benefit of doubt, and to support our position, it would be recalled that the same INEC had on March 20, 2016, in its press Statement duly signed by the Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Aniedi A. Ikoiwak, titled, ‘Re: Suspension of Elections in Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government Areas,’ stated that:
“Further to our earlier pronouncement on the suspension of the re-run elections in the 6 (six) Local Government Areas of Khana, Bonny, Gokana, Andoni, Tai and Eleme following disturbances and violence that impeded the electoral process in these parts of the State, it has also become necessary to suspend the elections in Etche and Asari-Toru Local Government Areas, for the same reasons.” From the above INEC statement, elections in the six LGAs were ‘impeded’, meaning the electoral process, including distribution of materials, accreditation of potential voters, voting, collation of votes, etc were hindered, obstructed, and stopped from going ahead ‘following disturbances and violence leading to the suspension of the elections in the areas’.
It would therefore, amount to an outright contradiction by the same INEC to make a u-turn now and go ahead to announce results that were not realized from any election, as there was no such exercise in the area.
The State PDP Chairman called on President Mohammadu Buhari to call INEC and their collaborators in Rivers State to order to avoid plunging the State into anarchy.
PDP still insists that the APC and its candidates should test their claimed popularity in a free and fair election by allowing INEC to do the proper thing that would reflect the real choice of the electorate in the Rivers South-East and indeed, other parts of the State.
In the interest of our democracy, we appeal to INEC to particularly prevail on Amina Zakari and her collaborators not to further destroy the image of the electoral umpire, but to allow Rivers people decide who represents them in the legislative Assemblies in the State and at the National level.