Rerun Election: APC Wins Rivers South-East Senatorial District

• Wike kicks, insists  PDP has won Rivers East and Rivers West Senatorial Districts
• 2 Policemen Killed, Army Deny Involvement in Malpractices 
• IGP sad, orders investigation into killings
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt, Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti, Dele Ogbodo and Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja    
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, winner of last Saturday’s rerun elections in Rivers South East Senatorial District of Rivers State.
The declaration came as the Nigerian military confirmed the death of two policemen during the election but denied involvement in any electoral malpractice as alleged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state government.
Also confirming the death of the two policemen, the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, expressed his sadness at the loss of the officers, ordering an investigation into the circumstances of the killings. The killers, he said, must be fished out and brought to justice.
But as the results of the Rivers East and West Senatorial Districts were awaited yesterday, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, declared that the PDP candidates had won both elections based on results from polling units and called on INEC to release the results forthwith.
In an interactive session with journalists, Wike said the declaration of Rivers East Senatorial District result had never exceeded 24 hours in the past.
According to him, the result of Rivers East had been held down by the plots of INEC, the Army and the police to manipulate the results of Emohua and Ikwerre Local Government Areas for the purpose of concocting the senatorial results in favour of the APC.
He said: “As I speak with you, they are doing everything possible to rewrite the result of Emohua Local Government Area to ensure that the APC wins.”
The governor said that since the conclusion of voting, INEC had been playing pranks, moving collation back and forth from Emohua to Port Harcourt to create room for rigging.
“For now, all the collation officers have refused to be compelled to declare false results. As such, the collation officers have left and INEC has resorted to using her internal staff for the collation of results.
“Release Rivers East Senatorial District where Senator George Sekibo has won clearly. Release Rivers West Senatorial District where Senator Osinakachukwu Ideozu has won clearly.  INEC should release Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency where Abiante has won and Andoni State Constituency where Ikunyi Ibani has won clearly.”
He described as unfortunate the deliberate use of the Nigerian Army to deny PDP agents access to collation centres, so that INEC staff could concoct results.
“It is most unfortunate that they will descend to the level of win at all costs,” he said.
INEC has, however, said that for the second day running, it could not conduct elections in Akukutoru Local Government Area of the state because of violence and has rescheduled elections in the area to tomorrow.
Briefing journalists last night at INEC State Headquarters, Port Harcourt, INEC National Commissioner in charge of South-south Zone, Dr. Lecki Mustapha, said, “Yesterday, we tried to reset the elections in Akukutoru Local Government Area. We tried to do it today but there was just too much violence. The police advised that we withdraw. We are determined and confident that we will conclude the election tomorrow.
Announcing the results at the Rivers South East Senatorial District Collation Centre in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of the state, the Returning Officer, Professor Gideon Onukwuisi, declared Abe the winner of the election.
Onukwuisi declared that out of the 154,703 cast, 152,706 votes were valid while 2,627 were rejected.
He announced that Abe polled 125,938 votes while the candidate of the PDP, Mr. Olaka Nwogu, scored 25,394.
Addressing journalists shortly after the result was announced, Abe expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the election just as he dedicated his victory to God.
He also praised his party supporters for having confidence in him and promised them better representation.
The candidate of APC for Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Mr. Maurice Pronem, was also declared winner by INEC having polled a total of 68,219 votes to beat the PDP candidate, Dumnamene Deekor, who got 20,329 votes.
Some other results from the senatorial district shows that the APC candidate, Hon. Friday Nkeeh, was declared winner of Rivers State House of Assembly seat for Khana Constituency 2.
Nkeeh polled 15,000 votes to defeat Dinebari Loolo of the PDP who scored 4,000 votes.
Dr. Innocent Barikor of APC was also declared winner of the election with 24,624 votes in Gokana State Constituency.
APC’s Barry Mpigi was declared winner of Tai/Oyigbo/Eleme federal constituency, having polled 48,760 votes as against PDP’s Jacobson Nbina who got 11,737 votes.
In Rivers East Senatorial District, the results of six out of the eight local government areas have been released with the PDP in a comfortable lead.
results so far
Local Govt
Results for Emohua and Ikwerre Local Government Areas were still being awaited as at press time.
There are, however, reports that soldiers and other security agents stormed the collation centre at Emohua and disrupted the announcement of already collated results, an allegation which the army has denied.
The results for Rivers West Senatorial District has been scanty. Elections were put off at Akukutoru Local Government Area on Saturday because of violence and late arrival of materials. The rescheduled election yesterday was also inconclusive.
However, INEC announced that the PDP scored the highest number of votes in the senatorial rerun elections in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA).
The INEC Local Government Coalition Officer, Dr. Olorunshola Omodamirun, made the announcement at the INEC local office in Ahoada after the coalition of number of votes from 12 wards and 37 units in ONELGA.
He said the PDP scored a total votes of 4,277 votes against the APC which got 1,435 votes.
Army Finds Dead Policemen, Deny Malpractices
Meanwhile, the army has said it recovered the body of DSP Alkali Mohammed of Mobile Police Unit 48 who was beheaded along with his orderly.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Kasim Abdulkareem, in a press statement in Port Harcourt yesterday also denied that the army was involved in illegal activities during the elections.
He noted: “These people allegedly accused soldiers of ballot box snatching, illegal escorts of some politicians, arrest and detention of voters during the general conduct of the elections. The weighty nature of these allegations could cause members of the public to view soldiers negatively, hence the need to adequately inform the general public on the true perspective.  The public thus need to consider them as mere farce to garner public sympathy.
“The 6 Division, Nigerian Army remained apolitical in the conduct of the election. Its soldiers provided perimeter defence to ward off hoodlums and miscreants. Nigerian Army troops were in no way involved in any form of ballot box snatching, neither were they involved in the escort of politicians as alleged. They acted swiftly in response to security breaches in order to enforce the law, provide aid to the Nigeria police and other security agencies especially in areas like Abonema, Etche, Gokana, Ikwerre, Eleme, Tai, Khana and Omoku amongst others. Susceptibility of mentioned areas warranted providing security for the electoral officials, voters, international and local observers, in conjunction with other security agencies by soldiers for a peaceful election to thrive in the environment.
“These areas were rife with armed men that engaged security personnel. In Gokhana, armed hoodlums engaged the soldiers providing outer perimeter defence for the electorate. In Abonnema at 0730 hours today, there were 3 explosions that created bedlam. Subsequently, 11 NYSC members were abducted along with electoral materials. However, 10 of them were rescued two hours later by the soldiers while one was rescued about eight hours later.
“At Emouha, Mr Oblewaremu abducted five NYSC members with election materials in a Sienna bus. The corps members were rescued while the suspect was handed over to the police. Several shooting were recorded in some communities such as Bodo, the home town of the Secretary to the State Government, B-dere and Mogho in Gokhana LGA, including snatching of ballot boxes. The most brutal incidence occurred at Idu Community near Omoku in Onelga where police patrol team was ambushed. In the ambush, 10 policemen scampered into the bush.
“The Mobile Police organised a rescue mission. Regrettably, the team discovered that DSP Alkali Mohammed of Mobile Police Unit 48 was beheaded along with his orderly. The patrol vehicle was taken away with weapons, three policemen escaped while five were missing in action.”
He noted that the attacks were reasonable evidence of violations of breach of law and order which portray the area as a flash point.
“Despite these barbarism, soldiers acted with civility and professionally guaranteeing peaceful election,” he said.
He emphasised: “Nigerian Army as a respected institution with constitutional responsibility to safeguard lives and property could not watch miscreants and hoodlums abducting, maiming and killing innocent citizens especially in senseless attacks on uniform personnel.”
IG Sad, Orders Investigation
IG Idris yesterday ordered the immediate investigation into the death of the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Alkali Mohammed, and others killed in the rerun elections, saying he was highly disturbed by the death of the officers.
Confirming the death of the DSP in a telephone interview with THISDAY, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr. Don Awunah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, said the Force lost the DSP in the course of his official duty at the just concluded election.
On the other officers the police lost in the course of the election, he said: “We lost a DSP, though, we are still investigating what led to his death.
“The IG, has therefore, ordered a high-powered investigation to unravel the circumstance surrounding his death.”
On the DSP’s orderly that allegedly died with his boss, Awunah said: “As we speak, we only know of the death of the DSP, because in a situation, where we have not seen the corpse of the orderly, we cannot declare him dead. He could be missing.”
The IG, Awunah said, was deeply worried and highly disturbed by the death of DSP Mohammed and any other officers who might have died while on official duty.
THISDAY learnt that DSP Mohammed and his team of 12 MOPOL-48 ran into a heavy gunfire attack at Omoku.
Assessing the performance of the police on the conduct and outcome of the election, the Force spokesman said: “The rerun election has been relatively free and fair, but the death of the officer has to be fully investigated and that is what the IG had just done.
Fayose Slams Buhari 
Reacting to the conduct of the Rivers State rerun election yesterday, the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, regretted that the conduct of credible elections, which had been taken for granted by the 2015 presidential election, was becoming a scarce commodity under the watch of President Buhari.
“We thought that we have gone past this era of manipulated electoral process after the 2015 general election, which brought the APC and President Buhari to power, but the Buhari’s administration has taken us back to the Stone Age by merging his party, APC with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, military and other security agencies,” he said in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Mr. Lere Olayinka.
Saying that with what was witnessed in Rivers State in the past two days, it was clear that Nigeria was under siege, adding that only the prompt intervention of the international community could save democracy from imminent collapse in the country.
He said it was worrisome that results announced at collation centres were markedly different from what were released at the polling units and accused INEC of colluding with the APC to thwart the wishes of the people.
Fayose described Buhari as a pretender, who had only paid lips service to the sustenance of democracy in the country, adding: “Any president that looks the other way while the rights of his people to freely elect their leaders is being snatched at gunpoint by his own party men is not worthy of being associated with democracy.”
SDP Accuses Buhari, APC of Institutionalising Violence
Also reacting, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) accused Buhari and the APC of gradually institutionalising electoral corruption and violence in the country, saying their actions portend great danger for the nation.
Subsequently, it said it was discussing with other political parties on the possibilities of forming a mega party or working relationship with other parties.
The National Publicity Secretary of the SDP, Alhaji Alfa Mohammed, stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja, after the inaugural meeting of “The Bridge’’, a socio-cultural and economic organisation of the people of the North-central geo-political zone.
“President Muhammadu Buhari must equally fight electoral corruption at the polling units or forget the on-going fight against corruption because the corruption at the polling booths is the worst form of corruption; the Buhari-led APC administration is fast institutionalising electoral fraud and violence in our nation,’’ the SDP stated.
The party said that the way APC bought votes in the recent governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States and the deployment of federal might to intimidate voters in Rivers State were capable of creating a huge gap between the electorate and elected officials.
It added that the implication of rigged elections was that since elected officials bought their way into offices they would not be accountable to the people, saying this portends great danger for the society and democracy.
SDP also said that with what happened in the recently concluded governorship elections in Ondo State, where money was allegedly used to buy votes, questioned the so-called anti-corruption war of the APC-led administration.
It said: “If elected officials buy their way into offices how do you hold them accountable? By buying your vote he also bought your conscience. This APC government that prides itself as an anti-corruption government is the one encouraging and leading this form of corruption (electoral corruption).”
To save democracy, the SDP said it was working with credible political parties with credible leadership on the possibilities of having like minds to form a mega political party towards 2019 general election.
‘’Very soon, we will be having a NEC meeting where we will constitute contact and mobilisation committees to pursue our objective of forming a mega political party,” he said.