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Unanswered questions in Rivers

The Saturday Presidential and National Assembly election has left River State with too many unanswered questions. The questions that have remained unresolved now are, were there really fake result sheets at the polls as alleged by the APC? Or is it just mere propaganda? Will elections be conducted in the units where it could not be concluded?

By Davies Iheamnachor

The questions remain controversial and unresolved the more they are asked, although they remain the only question left for the INEC to answer.

The election which held peacefully in nearly all other parts of the country was, however, a different story in Rivers State where a number of casualties were recorded. Even significant was the fact that Governor Chibuke Amaechi, refused to be accredited for the election at his voting point on the fact that the result sheet for the election was not available.

The violence and the absence of result sheets have brought into question the credibility of the election if not in the country, but in Rivers, a state that until now had traditionally harvested about two million votes for the PDP.

Chairman of the Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega

The APC in the state has consistently maintained that no election was conducted in the state, alleging that there was a total breach of the electoral processes. They said that INEC failed to provide election results sheets to all the polling units across the state.

All the candidates for the election on the platform of APC have called on INEC to cancel the results from Rivers alleging that the election also witnessed harassment, violence, manipulations and other electoral vices.

But the candidates of the PDP who may have been favoured in the same process insist that the election was free, fair and violent free. They claim that the election was devoid of rigging and that every polling unit had the original result sheet for the elections.

The PDP governorship candidate, Nyesom Wike after voting at his unit in Rumuepirikom said the election in the state followed the INEC principle. He said the APC is making noise because it is not on ground in the state, adding that the result sheets were original.

There is every indication that any of the parties may contest the validity of the results on the ground of the alleged malpractice. The APC has alleged that the election in the state was a connived plan between the PDP and INEC to foist its desire on the people.

Governor Amaechi’s body language spoke as much when he refused to be accredited on Saturday when he arrived his ward 8, unit 14 in Ubima community, Ikwerre LGA having found out that there were no result sheets.

“I will not accept accreditation until you provide the result sheet meant for this unit,” he said.

The polling officer had claimed that the result sheet was not given to him among other materials as he said that the result sheet will be provided later.

It was as such not surprising that the development led to exchange of insults between Governor Amaechi and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dame Gecila Khan.

Amaechi accused Khan who is from nearby Bayelsa State of conniving with the PDP to rig the Rivers election in favour of his brother, President Goodluck Jonathan.

Fake result sheets

He accused Khan of sending fake result sheets to some LGA in the state, adding that result sheets were not sent to some wards at all.

Khan on her part accused the governor of whipping up sentiments denying knowledge of the confiscation of result sheets.

The voters who just spoke to Vanguard have expressed displeasure with the non-arrival of the INEC officials to the wards till 4:30pm. Some of the voters who were still waiting at the time said they will wait till night.

Vanguard gathered that the elections that were rescheduled to hold in some places where it could not be concluded Saturday, could not hold yesterday.

Following this development the APC leaders in Rivers have staged a protest to the INEC office calling for the cancellation of the held election in the state.


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.