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Rivers polls: Opposition parties laud INEC, as PDP kicks

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Opposition parties in Rivers have lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for suspending the electoral process in the state.

The Governorship Candidates of the parties, incuding Action Democratic Congress (ADC), Labour Party (LP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) made the commendation on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt.

The candidates also called on INEC to cancel the governorship election entirely and order a fresh election in the state.

Mr Victor Fingesi of the ADC described the suspension of the process as a welcome development.

Fingesi alleged that the March 9 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the state was marred by violence and irregularities.

He further alleged that many thugs, allegedly dressed in military uniforms, were engaged to disrupt the process.

He called on the major political stakeholders in Rivers to come to a roundtable to discuss the way out of the current logjam in the state.

Similarly, Mr Isaac Wowon of the LP condemned the brazen show of desperation for power by some politicians.

Wowon called on Nigerians to resist impunity and lawlessness in the electoral process.

Also, Mr Precious Elekima of the SDP called on INEC to declare him winner of the March 9 governorship election.

Elekima claimed that he polled the highest number of votes cast during the election, judging by the results so far collated.

He further called for a summit where politicians and prominent Rivers people would sit to take a stand on how to resolve issues of governance in the state.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the suspension of all electoral processes in the Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state by INEC.

The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, called on INEC to immediately declare the result of the state governorship election.

INEC on Sunday announced the suspension of all electoral processes in Rivers until further notice.

The suspension, according to the statement, issued in Abuja by Mr Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, was due to widespread violence and disruptions that characterised the state’s elections.

Ologbondiyan said that the PDP rejected INEC decision to suspend the electoral process, after results had been collated.

He described the suspension as a premeditated plan by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government to change the wishes of Rivers people as shown in the polling units.

“Our party contends that elections have been concluded in Rivers state; results of the Governorship and House of Assembly polls have been declared at the various polling units, wards and local government collation centers and all returning officers and political parties in the ballot conclusively have the figures.

“It is therefore directly incumbent on INEC to declare the final results instead of deliberately creating openings for the subversion of the final process; a development, which exposes the commission’s complicity with the Presidency and the APC to enmesh the election into unnecessary crisis.

“Our party cautions INEC to note that a lot of innocent Nigerians have already been killed by the APC in its desperation to forcefully take over Rivers state.

“The commission should therefore save the state from more bloodletting by immediately declaring the results.”

Ologbondiyan called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reflect on the bloodletting that characterised the election and call the military to order.

“Mr President should immediately call the security agencies to end their siege to our electoral process. Any further delay is a recipe for escalation of crisis in our nation.”

Ologbondiyan added that many Nigerians believed that the violence would have been averted if the Amendment to the Electoral Act was signed.

 

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