Opobo (Rivers) – Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said insecurity had remained a major challenge to free and fair elections in Rivers.
Peterside stated this while speaking with newsmen shortly after voting at Unit 6, Ward 3 in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area during Saturday`s re-run parliamentary election in the state.
He also said hate speeches by politicians was another challenge to the conduct of elections in the state.
He said that insecurity and hate speeches caused the low turnout of voters recorded in some local government areas in the Saturday election.
Peterside, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections in the state, called for improved security in future elections to enable the people exercise their franchise.
He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for adopting accreditation and voting same option for the re-run election, saying that it made the exercise faster.
“I believe it is a better process. This is a better process than the previous method of accrediting and going back home before one can vote.
“But the politicians will not allow it to work. I can inform you that some politicians are always suspicious of each other, never having faith in the process,” he said.
Peterside disclosed that information available to him showed that there was voter apathy in many units because of insecurity.
“ From the look of things, I do not see any difference between what happened in the 2015 election and Saturday`s re-run polls; voter apathy is still there,” he said.