Guber Poll: APC Accuses Wike of Electoral Banditry in Rivers
Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the state governor, Nyesom Wike, of electoral banditry in the just concluded governorship and state house of assembly election.
In a statement by the APC Chairman and Secretary, Mr. Emeka Beke and Mr. Darlington Nwauju, respectively, the party noted that the election was marred with intimidation, thugs attack, hijack of electoral materials, killings and other electoral offences.
The APC also alleged rigging masterminded by thugs allegedly working for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in connivance with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police.
The party expressed sadness that about four of its members died during the election, adding that two were still missing as at the time of this report.
“Last Saturday’s election in Rivers State was between APC and INEC, the police and Gov Wike’s PDP. There was no election in the real sense of it. INEC and the police brazenly worked together to install Gov Wike’s PDP candidates as winners of the election.
“As a party, we have repeatedly raised the alarm about how Gov Wike, using state resources that belong to Rivers people, to compromise key institutions like INEC and the police. What happened on Saturday was a systemic institutionalised rigging of the elections by Gov Wike with the supposed umpire, INEC and the police actively doing the bidding of Gov Wike.
“Gov Wike’s weak and feeble attempt to distance himself from the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu failed abysmally. No amount of spin can change the facts Nigerians know, which is that, there exist an unholy alliance between Gov Wike and the INEC chairman.
“Gov Wike is gloating that his PDP won election in Rivers State. But everyone knows that PDP did not win the election in Rivers State. PDP stole the election with the active connivance and participation of INEC and the police. They were brazenly and shamelessly allocated votes.
“May we remind Nigerians that the event of March 18th and 19th 2023, which witnessed the suppression of votes, bypass of BVAS, intimidation of voters, outright violence and brutal killings in Rivers State which clearly violates Section 125 and 128 of the 2022 Electoral Act (as amended), can never be forgotten or swept under the carpet by a million broadcasts.
“For the avoidance of doubts, Nigerians are invited to note that the following members of the APC, Rivers State chapter, lost their lives in Ahoada West LGA alone on the 18th of March 2023: Esor Godspower Ajahu, Ward 10, Unit 01; Chiosom Lennard Tabele, Ward 10 Unit 02 – LGA Cordinator; Okpara Chienyere – Unit 01 Ward 10 and Goodnews Michael Okpara – Anakpo community Ward 8 Unit 5. Two persons still missing in this LGA”.
Dismissing the claim that the March 18, 2023 elections were credible in Rivers, the APC wondered why there was no celebration when the election empire announced PDP’s Siminialayi Fubara as winner of the gubernatorial poll.
“No wonder the streets of Port Harcourt went silent immediately the unfortunate announcement of the PDP candidate was made unlike what happened in Abia state where jubilation broke out as soon as the people’s choice emerged. Little wonder the shunning of a victory party organised for youths at the Elechi Amadi Polytechnic and the few who came refused to dance or rejoice even when organisers begged to justify their pay.
“We restate that what has happened in the state in the last two elections amounts to pyrrhic victories obtained through Order 23, which is an unwritten marching order to local government council Chairmen to return Gov Wike’s anointed candidate or get sacked.
“The APC in Rivers State wish all those who believe there was anything credible about the last Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections well in their celebrations, after all, bandits, robbers and terrorists also celebrate after a heist!!”