The African Action Congress (AAC) in Rivers State has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of working in favour of Nyesom Wike, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the state.
A statement issued by Felix Enimini William, AAC Publicity Secretary in Rivers, noted that the statement issued by INEC on Friday is the commission’s “latest move to short-change the party”.
The party alleged that the electoral umpire was working to “sway the outcome of the process” in Wike’s favour.
INEC had issued a statement on Friday night, noting that the “results of 17 out of 23 Local Governments are available and in the commission's custody”.
The 17 LGAs were not listed, but the commission said the elections would be concluded on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
However, the AAC rejected INEC’s position, in its statement which read: "Sadly, we are curiously surprised and disappointed that INEC deliberately refused to name the 17 Local Government Areas. As far as this information is concerned, it is manifestly false and the attempt to shroud the LGAs claimed to have results in secrecy is a serious step by INEC to sway the outcome of the process in favour of Gov. Nyesom Wike, its preferred candidate.
“We suspect that INEC might be working to surreptitiously bring in cooked up results credited to Obio/Akpor to skew the balance of reality of things in favour of Wike. We vehemently reject this and will resist it with every pint of blood in us.
“It is now clear to all that INEC has become deaf and blind to the fact that Gov. Nyesom Wike invaded the Obio/Akpor collation centre and ordered his security men to shoot an Army Captain and another soldier providing perimeter security to the collation centre. The Captain and his colleague are still in hospital after undergoing serious surgery.
“We ask: Is it so difficult for INEC to name the 17 LGAs? If INEC has agreed and accepted that four collation officers are card-carrying members of PDP and INEC has now sanctioned them, what happens to the results they collated having not been qualified to do so ab initio?
“The AAC calls on INEC to stop its collaboration with Gov. Nyesom Wike and the PDP. It must declare Engr. Biokpomabo Awara, our governorship candidate, winner of the March 9 governorship election as it was glaring that he was winning until INEC stepped in to halt the process apparently to save Wike from an earth-shaking defeat.
“Finally, those (including Gov. Wike) who make the argument that our party and candidate are not popular enough to win the Rivers State governorship election are simply being clever by half. Can the governor and his ilk also say that APC that threw its weight behind us, for obvious reasons, are not popular and on ground in Rivers State?”