INEC Committee’s Visit to Rivers a Waste, Says Advocacy Group


Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

A good governance advocacy group, the Rivers Unity House, (RUH) has said the visit of the fact-finding committee of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Rivers State following the suspension of the gubernatorial election in the state is a waste.

Convener of RUH, an advocacy group within the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kingsley Wenenda Wali, spoke Thursday at a live radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt.

He said the visit of the committee was a waste of time and resources.

Wali said: “I don’t feel comfortable discussing INEC. Let’s say I doubt if INEC is fair. I doubt that very much. They brought themselves into the playing field as active participants but because as a civil servant, I believe that the kind of things should be saying should stoke flame or fire as it were. There are certain things you shouldn’t do as a civil servant but INEC is saying all of that.

“What is all these about the Fact-Finding Committee? They have the DSS, which is part of the electoral process. What report can’t you get from the DSS? Why sending people to come to Port Harcourt to do what?

“Unless you are saying that the DSS is also compromised; that the Army is compromised and the Police is compromised and the only people that are not compromised is INEC. I find that very ridiculous to believe.”

The RUH Convener, who expressed regrets that the current political atmosphere in the state have created factions within the traditional institution in the state, said a lot of people no longer come to Port Harcourt for either business or holiday.

He said: “Where lies the strength of Rivers State if we have factions in opinions and views to the extent that the traditional council will be so divided at this point in time? Then, we are in trouble.

“Truly speaking, I have noticed that people are getting too emotional about this conversation and paying less regards to what the facts are. The more we continue getting emotional and pedestrian, we will never get to solving this issue.

“People are forgetting where we are coming from; where we are. They don’t care and we don’t care too. In definitive terms, I think that the rhetoric are not encouraging; they are creating an environment that is not conducive for development. No sane man will want to come to Port Harcourt to do business or even holiday because he is scared.

“If you follow what is trending on Facebook or social media generally, you will not bother coming to Port Harcourt. People think that people are just killed everyday and people are dying everyday and that we are all mad people in Rivers State.”

Wali also faulted claims by some politicians in the state that the governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Biokpomabo Festus Awara, is unknown in the state.

Wali said it is ridiculous for some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to claim that the AAC governorship candidate was unpopular in the state when they are aware of his endorsement by the APC in the state.