Godswill Akpabio

Urges Buhari to constitute commission of inquiry on violence
APC apologises over corps members death, pledges support to family

Omololu Ogunmade and Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate on Thursday demanded for the release of the results last Saturday’s rerun elections in River State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Rising from a meeting held in Abuja, the caucus asked the electoral commission to release all the results collated in polling units, wards and local government areas of the state at the weekend.

According to a communique issued at the end of the meeting and signed by Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, the caucus resolved to visit the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, and the families of those who lost their lives in the rerun polls. It also condemned the violence which marred the conduct of the polls.

The caucus called on President Muhammadu Buhari to support the constitution of a commission of inquiry to investigate the violence which accompanied the rerun elections in the state with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice.

The communique which said the meeting was attended by the National Chairman of PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff, also asked INEC to conduct the rerun election ordered in Imo North senatorial district, noting that the 90 days ordered by the court for the conduct of the election has expired.

It also advised the commission to re-schedule the rerun election in Kogi East senatorial district just as it passed vote of confidence on Sheriff whom it said briefed the caucus on the forthcoming congresses and national convention of the party as scheduled.

The communique read: “The caucus noted the reports from the just concluded rerun elections in the state particularly the declaration of results in units, wards and local government area collation centres and resolved accordingly:
That lNEC should as a matter of urgency release the outstanding results in the state re run elections particularly results that were collated from all polling units/wards/local government areas in their possession with immediate effect.

“The caucus reviewed the decision of NEC of our party, PDP, and agreed that the timetable of the party congresses and national convention remains sacrosanct. This was reiterated by the national chairman of the party, who attended the caucus and briefed members accordingly.

“The caucus agreed to send a delegation to visit Rivers State with a view to congratulating Wike on the electoral victories, and also to commiserate with the wounded and families of people who lost their loved ones in the re run elections in the state particularly the youth corps member who was slain in the imbroglio.

The caucus called on lNEC to as a matter of urgency, reschedule the lmo North re-run senatorial election without further delay as the 90 days ordered by the court had since lapsed.

“It also called on lNEC to reschedule similar rerun elections in Anambra Central and Kogi East senatorial districts. The caucus condemns in its totality the acts of violence perpetrated by enemies of democracy during the rerun elections in the state. A vote of confidence was passed on the national chairman of the party as well as the leadership of the eight Senate PDP caucus of the National Assembly.

“The caucus called on President Buhari to support the ongoing commission of enquiry investigating the killings in the Rivers State rerun elections with a view to bringing the perpetrators of the violence/killings to justice. The caucus urged the political class to exhibit tolerance for multi-party democracy in the nation to discourage political impunity in all ramifications.”

However. the Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has apologised to the management of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for the death of a corps member, Samuel Dumebi Okonta.

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and gubernatorial candidate of the party in the 2015 general election, Dakuku Peterside, rendered the apology yesterday in Abuja while leading other party leaders on a condolence visit to the national secretariat of NYSC.

Dakuku said it was unfortunate that the state had been in the news for negative reasons, adding that it was worst of that a youth corps member was killed during an election in the state.
Okont, who hailed from Illah community in Idemili North Local Government Area of Delta State, was killed during last Saturday’s rerun elections in the state.

The deceased served as an Assistant Presiding Officer (APO II) at Ukpeliede Town Hall, Ward 6, Unit 5 in Ahoada West Local Government Area.

“We have come as a delegation of APC Rivers State chapter to pay our condolence to NYSC on the loss of a patriotic young man who offered to serve his fatherland, instead of being rewarded, he has been sent to early grave.
He died in the course of national assignment in the state, I am not sure he bargained for early death.

“We are here to pay our condolence that the death of a young man who had a great dream, who was promising, who spent the best part of his life acquiring education hoping to contribute his own quota to the development of our country, instead of being given that opportunity, today he has been killed at the course of national assignment. We are saddened that it happened in our state,” Dakuku lamented.

He noted that Nigeria owes the families of corps members who had died in the course of conducting election in the country.

“We think that Nigeria owes Okonta a lot and all those who were injured in the course of election in state. Rivers is not only the state in the country, we don’t know why our own case will be peculiar, we feel very bad, we feel saddened, and on behalf of all our people, we want to say sorry to the entire family of the NYSC.

“We appreciate that you lost one of your own but first he is a citizen of Nigeria before enrolling in the youth service corps and so it is not your loss alone, it is our collective loss,” the NIMASA DG said.

He, however, pledged that the party would support the family of slain corps member in all ways.
The Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier General Johnson Olawumi, who was represented by Director of Corps Welfare and Inspectorate, Mrs. Rhoda Kwaki, noted that Okonta’s death was a huge loss but prayed against any re-occurrence.