- Demands military probe of Bayelsa election violence
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt and Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has said it is confident that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would declare Governor Nyesom Wike as the governor-elect of Rivers State.
This is coming as the PDP in Bayelsa State, Wednesday urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to launch a probe into the violence that rocked the state during the last general elections.
This is as the party in Rivers has expressed satisfaction with its performance in all the elections in the state, stating that it was a confirmation of its acceptance by the people of the state.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, the state Chairman of PDP, Felix Obuah, on behalf of the party, thanked the people of the state for massively voting for its candidates during the presidential and National Assembly elections as well as the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections that held on February 23, 2019 and March 9, 2019, respectively
He noted that the party already has 14 elected members of the National Assembly and 26 elected members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
He, therefore, wondered where those clamouring to have won the governorship election in the state got their confidence when they could not win even one seat in any of the elections.
Obuah said: “The outcome of the governorship and state Assembly Elections of March 9, 2019 proved the love the good people of Rivers State have for our beloved party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“You showed unparalleled love for our party by voting all the way for Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and all our candidates for the National and State Houses of Assembly elections.
“The results from all polling units and constituencies where the elections were concluded have confirmed and reaffirmed to us that Rivers State is PDP; that PDP is our way of life in Rivers State. You have once again, reposed your total confidence in our party.
“As the Chairman of the PDP, I wish to express and convey the gratitude of our party to the people of Rivers State for this wonderful show of love and support for our Governorship Candidate, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the State Assembly Candidates.
Meanwhile, the PDP in Bayelsa State, yesterday urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to launch a probe into the violence that rocked the state during the last general elections.
The party accused the army of being a direct participant in the elections in which at least five persons reportedly died, insisting that the military must redeem its image by getting to the root of the alleged violence against the PDP.
Addressing the press at the party secretariat in Yenagoa, Chairman of the party, Moses Cleopas, maintained that in several parts of the state, including Brass, Nembe and Southern Ijaw, the actions of the army deployed in the areas, should be looked into.
He said that in Southern Ijaw, where two local PDP leaders were shot dead by men in military uniform without provocation, no official statement from the army had been released and wondered why PDP members were prime targets during the polls.
He also took a swipe at INEC in the state, saying that there was confusion as to why elections were declared inconclusive by the electoral umpire only in places where the party was leading during the exercise.
Cleopas bemoaned the alleged partisanship of the INEC chief and the army in the state, noting that though the people of Bayelsa are peaceful, they cannot be cowed.
In Nembe for example, the PDP said all its members were chased away from Bassambiri, where an APC candidate has been returned as winner, insisting that where the opposition was declared winners, the party will seek legal redress to reclaim its mandate.
“The PDP won everywhere in Bayelsa and in places where the APC has been declared winners, we will reclaim our mandate” he noted.
In Ekeremor constituency 1, Cleopas said a serving federal minister invaded the area with soldiers and forced INEC field officials to alter results under duress.
“The minister came with military men and doctored results and forced INEC to change results to the advantage of his party. This will not stand.
“Nembe 2 and 3, Bassambiri was taken over by hoodlums. They chased away all PDP members from the community. Policeman who went there to maintain the peace were driven out by the APC in that area. They wrote results. There was no proper election there.
“In the areas declared inconclusive, in Ogbia constituency 2, we were winning before military men came and carted away materials in Otuokiti. Same in Brass constituency 2 and Southern Ijaw 4, it was pure abracadabra,” he alleged.