Enlist Our Candidates or Risk Repeating Election in Rivers, APC Warns INEC

Tonye Cole

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has warned that the February 23 National Assembly elections might be repeated in the state if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fails to relist its candidates on the ballot.

The party also accused the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Obo Effanga, of working for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and called on INEC headquarters to redeploy him.

Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt Thursday, embattled governorship candidate of APC in the state, Tonye Cole, said the truth about the actual legal position has been made clear at the highest levels of the electoral body.

Cole said: “I want to start by telling our supporters in APC in the state that not only will we participate in the elections, we will win them. It is better to be prepared than for the opportunity to come and we are not prepared. The opportunity is coming. Be prepared!

“I have been reliably informed that the truth about the actual legal position has now been made clear at the highest levels in INEC.

“We expect that the right thing will be done now to avoid excluding the APC, because failure to do so will mean the election into the National Assembly seats scheduled to hold on Saturday will have to be repeated.

“Two options exist for INEC if it wants to be on the right side of the law. The first is to put our logo on the ballot. Failing, they are left only with one other option. That will be to postpone the elections for National Assembly and hold it at a later date. If either option is not exercised, the appropriate legal actions will be activated.”

Also speaking at the briefing, the state Publicity Secretary of APC, Chris Finebone, accused INEC of recruiting card-carrying members of the PDP as ad hoc staff for the rescheduled general election.

Finebone alleged: “Card carrying members of PDP have been recruited as ad-hoc staff of INEC for the general election in Rivers State. PDP wants to populate the SPOs and POs for the elections.

“We are therefore demanding the redeployment of the state REC, Obo Effanga. INEC and PDP are collaborating to rig the elections.”