- Ikanya: We’re ready anytime
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of working towards another postponement of the rerun legislative elections in the state.
But the APC has described the allegations as mischievous, insisting that it is ready for the rerun elections anytime.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced that the suspended rerun elections in some local government areas of the state would hold in October, although it did not fix any particular date.
The PDP, in a statement issued monday on behalf of the state Chairman, Felix Obuah, by his media aide, Jerry Needam, it had uncovered clandestine moves by APC in the state pushing for another postponement of the expected re-scheduled elections.
The statement noted that it has been alerted by some credible information available to it, “confirming the grave plan by the leadership of the APC, in conjunction with some very senior staff and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), aimed at effecting another shift in the conduct of the elections, alleging insecurity in the state and logistic problems on the side of the commission as reasons for the postponement.”
It expressed worry and disappointment over “such retrogressive action by the APC,” adding that the moves did not come to it as a shocker, as right from the onset the APC has never shown any readiness to genuinely participate in a free, fair and non-violently conducted elections in the state, obviously for fear of losing in the electoral contest.
Obuah said one of such plans by the APC was the sustained blackmail and distortion of facts bordering on government actions on security challenges in parts of the state, not taking into cognisance the pragmatic efforts of the Governor Nyesom Wike led-government in tackling insecurity, armed robbery, kidnapping, cult related clashes and other social vices across the state, as well as his unprecedented support for the state command of the Nigeria Police and other sister security agencies operating in the state.
He berated the APC’s push for another postponement, saying there was no justification for doing so, wondering why the APC leaders do not consider and are unperturbed with the continued absence of Rivers State representatives in the Senate and its partial presence in the House of Representatives following the inconclusive elections in the state.
The PDP Chairman said he had earlier taken it with a pinch of salt but has been further made to believe completely when the APC candidate for Rivers South-East senatorial district, Mr. Magnus Abe, and other APC chieftains were again spotted at the INEC offices in Abuja and Port-Harcourt, even as their proxies and aides continue to make frequent visits to and maintain constant presence at the commission’s offices in the state.
“This is unhealthy and retrogressive for the nation’s democracy and political development of our state, and therefore, condemnable,” Obuah noted and called on the people of the state to resist any attempt by individuals, institutions or group to deny the state and the people of the respective constituencies their right of representation in the national and state assemblies.
He also urged the INEC, to discontinue any compromised step taken so far or about to be taken aimed at shifting the expected rescheduled re-run legislative elections in the state.
“We’ll resist anything short of open, free, fair and non-violently conducted elections in the state,” Obuah declared.
But in his reaction, the state Chairman of the APC, Dr. Davies Ikanya, described the allegations as mischievous, insisting that “Rivers State APC is not the INEC that have the sole power to fix date for election in Nigeria neither are we members of any security organ in Nigeria that will determine if it is okay to hold any election in a Wike and PDP-influenced volatile environment like River State.
He also stated: “Last night, we learnt that Wike and his Killer gang attacked a community in Khana LGA of Rivers State and killed four people and burnt many houses as they want. Maybe this act of barbarism is Wike’s PDP idea or plot to once again influence and intimidate INEC to postpone the rerun election.
“PDP and Wike are aware that they can’t win any election in a civilised and peaceful environment so they resort to this barbaric act to ensure that Senator Abe and other APC candidates does not join their colleagues at the National Assembly and give Nigerians a purposeful and visionary leadership at the Assembly.”
He declared: “Let us reiterate unequivocally that we are ready at any time and date to contest the rerun election in Rivers State and win convincingly.”