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Rivers Election rerun: Battle in Rivers State like no other


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Rivers Election rerun: Battle in Rivers State like no other

These who had been pessimistic about  the legislative rerun elections in Rivers State had been proved proper on December 10, 2016.  In actual fact, the politicians, particularly,  the ‘gladiators’, as   they  are  being referred to   at present,  the  Impartial  Nationwide  Electoral  Fee(INEC), the safety companies,  political  thugs, ‘serving’ and ex-militants, didn’t  disappoint  the pessimists in any respect. They  had been  at  their “finest”,  doing what  they know   do finest, enjoying  their  separate,  disappointing   roles  to spill  the  blood of harmless residents, allegedly commit electoral fraud, with  the intention of subverting the desire of the individuals.

Many expressed fear  mere rerun of legislative elections might flip the state the other way up. The  train was for   three  senatorial  seats,  eight  out of   13 Home of  Representatives and   10 out  of   the 32 seats of  the Home of Meeting, compelled   the Nigeria Police  to deploy 28, 000 officers, three helicopters, 28  gunboats,  20  safety canines, 28, 000 safety personnel, 26 items of  Cell Police Power and 313 patrol automobiles to the state . Apart from, troopers,  members   of  sister companies just like the Nigerian Immigration,  Nigerian  Safety and  Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) had been  additionally deployed to the  oil-rich state for the aim of the rerun elections.

It  didn’t simply  finish  there,   the Inspector  Common of  Police, Ibrahim  Idris, relocated   to  Rivers State, 24 hours  to the  voting  train, whereas  six Commissioners of  Police had been  additionally  on floor.

On its half,  INEC   deployed   10, 294 employees,  throughout the   three Senatorial Districts, particularly,  Rivers West, Rivers East and Rivers South East. The  electoral umpire disclosed  that 14 classes of staffers had been  deployed for the rerun elections. A breakdown additional confirmed  that  three Retuning Officers had been deployed  to the  three Senatorial Districts, 18 Returning Officers  deployed to the Federal Constituencies, 23 Native  Collation Officers, 221 Registration Space Collation(RAC) Officers had been  deployed to the state.

There had been 57 Collation Officers (for  collation solely) on the  Registration Space, 231 Supervisory Residing Officers, 1,840 Presiding  Officers,   6,609 Assistant Presiding Officers 1, 2,and three, 661 Assistant Presiding Officers, 21 Constituency  Supervisors, 24 Native Authorities Space  Supervisors and  223 Resident Space Supervisors.

These, amongst different measures, had been aimed toward  having  a hitch-free, violence-free, credible, free and honest legislative rerun elections  after the failed  March 19,  2016 train. However  that  was to not be!

Couple of minutes into the  voting train, it was realised that nothing  had modified.  Like spots on leopard’s physique, it can’t  be washed away by  the rains and all of the measures put in place  by the INEC and safety companies couldn’t cease violence, killings, poll  snatching, amongst different irregularities  . The politicians and their employed thugs, the safety companies, who had been alleged to be neutral and offered safety,  began  snatching electoral supplies, whereas  INEC adhoc employees like,    members of the NYSC,  had been  kidnapped alongside  the voting supplies  they had been taking to the Polling Items. Like within the  previous  elections,   sounds of  gunshots lease the  air,  whereas   there  had been detonation of dynamites in Registration Space Centre(RAC) in Abonnema  and killing of 1 individual  in Ogoni.

For example, a complete  of  eleven  NYSC  members  had been kidnapped  together with electoral supplies,  although,  they  had been  all  rescued  by  some gallant  troopers.  5 NYSC  members  had been  kidnapped  in  Emohua  Native Authorities space alone,  alongside  the  electoral supplies  of their possession.

Capturing   and  ballot-snatching  grew to become  the order  of  the  day   in some communities  like,  Bodo, the  dwelling city of  Secretary to the State Authorities, Bidere and  Mogho in Gokana LGA, together with   snatching  of  poll  containers. There  was a  report  of  ambushing  of  policemen  at  Uju  group , close to  Omoku in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Native Authorities  Space (ONELGA) the place  a  police  patrol staff was  ambushed, and   the  10  policemen  within the patrol car scampered for security.

Sadly,  when the Cell  Police organised  a rescue mission, it  was  found Deputy Superintendent  of Police(DSP),  Alkali  Mohammed, of Cell Police Unit 48,  had  been  beheaded alongside his orderly.  In keeping with  a press release  by the navy, 5 policemen  had been  lacking in motion.

From  Etche Omuma, Asari-Toru/Akuku-Toru, Bonny/Degema, Ikwerre  Emohua and  Okrika/Ogo/Bolo Federal Constituencies, Andoni constituency, Khana, Gokana, Eleme, Opobo/Nkoro, Bodo-Ogoni,  it  was all destructive reviews of  both, killings, ballot-snatching , one type of electoral fraud or the opposite.  In   the camps of the  similar  politicians  had been  additionally cries of   alleged rigging, intimidation  by the safety companies, amongst others.

The  governor, who  had  expressed  his  displeasure  concerning the militarization  of the state and the position of  some senior law enforcement officials  within the state, as soon as once more alleged  that troopers had been  additionally neck-deep within the  ballot- snatching.

Addressing  hundreds  of   PDP  supporters,  who  had been on “Victory March”  throughout  the  streets of  Port Harcourt , which   terminated  at  the  Authorities Home, Port Harcourt, the governor stated  he  had no confidence  in  the military, police  and DSS.

“I  reward  you for  your  braveness,   within the face of  murderous invading safety companies, who killed, maimed and stole poll containers,  of their bid to subvert the desire  of  the individuals.

“I’ve informed  the safety companies, you  come and gather safety cash  from me and  use it  in opposition to Rivers individuals .  Sufficient is  sufficient. They are going to now be relying  on  NDDC for  their funding.  Let me see the place it should  take take them to,” he stated .

He stated the Minister of  Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi would by no means win election within the  state, and accused the governors of Plateau, Kano, Bauchi and Benue of making an attempt to re-colonize the state by  sponsoring violence and   rigging through the December 10 rerun.

Additionally, on Thursday, December 15, 2016, chief   Nyesom   Wike  led   hundreds  of   Peoples  Democratic Occasion(PDP) supporters  to  protest   what he referred to as,  mass killings  by  the  police and different safety companies,  throughout  the December 10, 2016 legislative  rerun elections within the state.

The  peaceable  protest,  which  took  off   from  the  Authorities  Home, Port Harcourt,  at  about 8am, noticed the protesters  marching   by means of  the Azikiwe Road  and  Financial institution Highway,  and  terminated    at   the Rivers  State Police  Command   headquarters,   on  Moscow  Highway, Port  Harcourt.

Amongst  the  protesters  had been;  the  deputy governor, Dr  Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the Speaker   of   the  State  Home  of Meeting,  Dabo Adams, former Minister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo, former UBA Chairman, Chief  Ferdinand Alabrabra, former deputy governor  to  Rotimi Amaechi, Tele Ikuru,  chairman,    Rivers State  chapter  of  PDP, chief  Felix  Obuah.

However as quickly as  the protesters  approached  the gate of  the  Rivers State Police Command  headquarters, the  policemen  shortly  locked  the gates  to forestall  them from  gaining entrance into  the Command’s  premises.

Governor   Wike  and   different  leaders   of   the  social gathering  waited   patiently  for  near 30 minutes,  earlier than  the  Deputy  Commissioner  of  Police (DCP), Mr. Cyril  Okoro got here  out and  spoke  to  them by means of  the locked  gate.

In  his  speech, Governor  Wike   stated   they  had been  at  the  Police Command  to tell  the authorities  that  they  had been drained  of  the killing of  harmless  individuals  in  the state,  by   the  police  and  different safety operatives.

He famous  that  the  individuals and authorities of  the state  had been  notably,  dissatisfied  with  the recklessness  of   two senior policemen, the Assistant Commissioner of  Police(ACP) in  cost of operations, Steven  Hasso  and  the Commander,  Particular Anti-Theft Squad(SARS), Mr. Akin Fakorede, who    he accused  of  main  the sponsored onslaught  in opposition to  the individuals of  Rivers State, and compromising   the  safety structure of  the state.

He  accused   the  Police Excessive Command   of  refusing   to  act,   regardless of  the overwhelming  proof  in opposition to  the duo, particularly  the video footage  that confirmed Akin Fakorede  and different safety operatives,  attempting to grab  outcomes of the Rivers East Senatorial District.

The governor   described   as unlucky,   a  state of affairs  the place safety  officers  reworked  themselves  into politicians  in uniform.

In his response, Mr. Cyril Okoro assured  the governor  that  the Rivers State Police Command  would   cross the message  to  the Police Excessive Command  for  obligatory motion.

However in distinction,  former deputy  Speaker of  Home of Consultant, Prince Chibudom Nwuche, hailed   the  safety companies, “for doing  a great job in securing  the state through the rerun and permitting regulation abiding residents to train their franchise.”

In keeping with him,  a  true democracy  is  the place the individuals   are  allowed to vote,  and their votes translated into election of their most popular candidates.

On his half,  chairman of  PDP, Rivers State chapter,  chief Felix Obuah,  rejected the outcomes  of  the South East senatorial district, which declared  APC candidates, Magnus Abe, Barry Mpigi, Friday Nke-Ee, Harmless Barikor and others as winners.

In the identical vein, the APC governorship candidate within the state in   the April 10,  2015   basic elections, Dr Dakuku  Peterside,  alleged   member of the State Govt Council,  was arrested by the police with pre-filled senatorial outcomes for  Emohua Native Authorities Space.

However the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO),   Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of  Police  (DSP), denied information of  the arrest.

As at Thursday, December 15,  INEC was but  to conclude the election in  Etche native authorities space due  to widespread violence and irregularities.

Within the estimation of many, the reality is that the failure of INEC to conduct violence-free, free,  honest and credible  elections in Rivers State, might  be blamed on the  similar politicians, who raised    the  alarm that the fee did  not need  to conclude the elections. Important observers argue that the ‘gladiators’ and  the 2 main political  events, PDP and APC can’t be exonerated from the ugly growth. What occurred  in December 10  was  a transparent case  of  who  might out-rig the opposite, and in addition a query of  political  social gathering  members that had been  extra violent  than the  others. However what’s shocking is that regardless of the preparations for the train, the  December 10,2016  legislative  rerun election in Rivers State was nonetheless characterised by bloodletting, ballot- snatching, abduction of INEC employees and different irregularities.

supply:THE SUN

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