Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
House of Assembly candidates of the platform of Accord political party in Rivers State have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the governorship and state assembly elections it conducted in the state on March 9 and organise fresh elections.
They also demanded for the redeployment of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Obo Effanga, and other critical staff of INEC involved in the suspended March 9, 2019 elections in the state.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, spokesman of the candidates, Duke Alamboye, said the candidates have completely disregarded any earlier declared results in connection with the March 9 polls in the state, as these figures were products contrived from very faulty processes, which have rendered them inchoate and unreliable.
Alamboye said: “Against the backdrop of these facts above therefore, we the Rivers State Accord House of Assembly Candidates, stand firmly with the position of our party and hereby demand unequivocally, for the following:
“The rescheduling of the March 9, 2019 Rivers State Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections in the State and a new date to be fixed for fresh Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rives State, within the stipulated time as approved by the Electoral Law
“The redeployment of Mr. Obo Effanga, the Resident Electoral Commissioner and other critical staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC who participated and were involved in the March 9 election in Rivers State, especially given the fact that they have been victims of the intimidations, harassments, abductions and hostage situations they were exposed to during the election.
“We also state clearly, that we have completely disregarded any earlier declared results in connection with the March 9, polls in Rivers state, as these figures are products contrived from very faulty processes, which have rendered them inchoate and unreliable.
“The Accord is a law abiding political party and its governorship candidate remains Chief Dumo O.B. Lulu-Briggs, who is well known as a man of peace and an advocate for the process that will be beneficial to Rivers State and Rivers people.”
Alamboye stated that their demand for fresh polls is based on the reasons given by INEC for the suspension of the March 9 Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state, pointing out that the process was trailed with violence, intimidation and militarisation.
He said: “INEC, as the constitutionally recognised umpire for the elections had already provided ample, sufficient and irrevocable reason for the rescheduling of the March 9, 2019 Rivers State Governorship and State House of Assembly elections, when it stated in its own initial Press Release, suspending all electoral process of the elections, that: Based on reports from our officials in the field, the Independent National Electoral Commission has determined that there has been widespread disruption of elections conducted on March 9 2019 in Rivers State.
“We also aver, without any equivocation, that the interpretation of the initial suspension of all electoral Processes in the March 9, Rivers state election, is that INEC itself lost complete faith and confidence both in the process and in the personnel that conducted and supervised the elections, which was marred by violence, thuggery and militarization of the entire process.
“It would therefore be difficult to authenticate the veracity of the so-called polling units figures, which have been in the possession of INEC since March 9, as all polling officials have since dispersed to their homes due to the alarm raised by the electoral umpire and the so called polling unit figures they have already submitted to INEC, which were neither verified nor endorsed at the Ward and Local government collation centres before any announcement and declaration can be made, as stipulated by the electoral law, could have been tampered with.”
He threatened that the party and its assembly candidates would seek redress in court if the electoral umpire goes ahead to declare results of the polls.