Issues arising from the controversial conduct of last Saturday Governorship and State Assembly elections in Rivers State took a twist on Monday as 86 political parties and 54 governorship candidates has rejected a planned move to redeploy the Rivers State Ressident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga.
Consequently, they have made a passionate appeal to the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu to disregard calls for Effang's transfer in the interest of peace and tranquility in the State.
Under the auspices of State Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), Coalition of Political Parties (CUPP) and Coalition of Governorship Candidates, the group urged the INEC boss to disregard a call by a few renegade APC sponsored governorship candidates to transfer Effanga and the State Administrative Secretary of INEC.
They said the call by the APC renegade were ill-motivated as they were being sponsored by Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, aimed at creating the ugly atmosphere for the concoction of results and the rigging of the Rivers State Governorship election which they declared, has been won by PDP candidate, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
The political parties, in very strong terms condemned what they termed criminal use of the army by the APC to abduct electoral officers and snatch already collated results for the purpose of rigging the Governorship election in favour of the APC supported candidate.
“It is most unfortunate that the APC led soldiers of the Nigerian Army to invade the State Collation Center at INEC headquarters in Port Harcourt as captured on videos aired on Channels Television and AIT. The whole world saw how they planned to bring in cooked results to alter the will of Rivers people”, the group lamented.
They urged INEC to immediately re-start the process of collating the governorship election results based on official results declared at all polling units where elections were successfully conducted, adding that the collation should be based on official INEC staff and adhoc personnel detailed to conduct the elections.
They group congratulated Governor Wike for his deserved re-election, stating that their position was based on results from across the State as made available to them by their agents who participated in the elections.
“This position is further confirmed by the fact that INEC State Collation Officers have declared 23 PDP candidates as duly elected for their respective constituencies for the State Assembly elections which ran simultaneously with the Governorship Election”, they said.
While calling on President Buhari to take steps and punish all those involved in the 'coup against democracy', the group said they took solace in the fact that the Chief of Army Staff had denied ordering the criminal activities of the army at the Rivers State Governorship Collation Center at INEC headquarters.