2019 Elections Important to EU, Says Dutch Envoy

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• Wike alleges FG plans to use security to disrupt elections in Rivers, Akwa Ibom

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

The Ambassador of Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr. Robert Petri, has said the European Union (EU) is interested in the conduct of the 2019 elections, and would monitor the process to ensure compliance with standards.

This is as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government is working in liaison with security agencies to disrupt 2019 governorship election in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.

Speaking in Port Harcourt yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit to Wike, Petri, assured Nigerians that the EU would closely monitor the forthcoming elections to ensure they are credible.

He said: “We are getting closer to the general electionswhich is very important . We need free and fair elections conducted in a peaceful environment.

“The European Union, which we are part of, will send monitors for the presidential and governorship elections. It is important that the elections are conducted in a friendly environment.”

Petri also said the Government of Netherlands is interested in the clean up of Ogoni land.

In his remarks, Wike stated that the federal government plans is to mobilise its rigging security apparatus from all other states to the two states on a later date for the manipulation of the two strategic governorship elections.

The Rivers State governor urged the EU to pay closer attention to the two elections.

“When I raised the alarm that the federal government is plotting to plant 800 guns in Rivers State to destabilise the state, it is the truth. It is real.

“The federal government working with the security agencies is planning to disrupt the 2019 governorship election in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. They want to ensure that the elections don’t hold with other states, so that they can mobilise security agencies to manipulate the results,” he said.

The governor noted that the international community must work with Nigerians to ensure that what happened in Osun State is not repeated in the Niger Delta.

Wike said if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Police could allow 55 per cent free and fair elections, Nigerians would be happy.

“As members of the EU, we want you to use your position to prevail on INEC and security agencies to allow the will of the people.

“Manipulating the electoral process is corruption. This administration claims that it is fighting corruption, but that is not true. When a PDP member defects from their party, the issue of corruption against him ends,” he said.

The governor stated that the president has refused to sign the amended Electoral Act because they have ulterior motive.

On the clean up of Ogoni, Wike regretted that the APC-led federal government has politicised the exercise, which is only thrown up during elections.