Our attention has been drawn to a report produced by members of the EU monitoring team in respect of the last general elections in the country which has become the subject of some controversy in Nigeria.
Already, the Nigerian Government has in very strong terms condemned the content of the EU report, describing it as abhorable, distasteful and fictional presentation that is totally unacceptable.
INEC has similarly reacted, providing details of efforts made to set up a transparent and open system that is consistent with the age-long desire of all Nigerians for free and fair elections that are credible.
Under this dispensation, parties in opposition have gained significant grounds in terms of representation than any time in history. We may not have been wholly successful as a nation with IREV, but nobody would claim BVAS did not work.
The EU report, to our surprise, has accused the former Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo of preventing members of the opposition from going about their campaigns in Rivers State. We are miffed by the fact that a reputable body such as the EU would descend so low to a point where heresy and the use of ‘the strawman’ are implored to taint the image of others.
Our take is that the EU report concerning Rivers State and the alleged actions of former Governor Nyesom Wike is substantially skewed and inaccurate. It is a report in our view that was not only intended to tarnish Nigeria’s democracy, but which was also anchored on a pre-determined and biased premise.
It is evident that the EU or its agents simply relied on unverified accounts of events peddled by gullible persons, political propagandists and mischief makers who were willing to blame even the air that they breathe for whatever went wrong during the period under review.
It is on record that the Rivers State Government within the tenure of Governor Nyesom Wike provided constructive leadership and put a level playing field in place for all political actors in Rivers State to take advantage of.
We admit there were a few skirmishes in some Rivers communities in the build up to the 2023 election. There is no way a government which placed a strong and effective security architecture on ground could be blamed for frustrating the opposition’s campaign bid.
It is wrong for anyone or group of persons under whatever guise to infer that the opposition in the State was deliberately prevented from campaigning. That did not happen.
Chief Ogbonna Nwuke,
Rivers PDP Campaign Council