By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT— Ledum Mitee, a former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, and two other sons of Rivers State, Sofiri Joab-Peterside and Baritor Kpagih, have moved to profer solution to issues of fraud and violence that have characterised elections in the state in recent times.
The three persons who came together on the platform of Initiative for Credible Elections, ICE, in Rivers State stated that tackling violence and fraudulent activities in elections in the state is a huge task, noting that it needs collaboration and education.
Speaking, yesterday in Port Harcourt, Mitee noted that the rate of killings and hijacking of electoral material placed a huge burden on critical stakeholders in the state, saying that ICE would ensure that such challenges were tackled head on in the 2019 general elections.
He expressed the need for people of the state to avoid a repeat of the level of killings that characterised the 2015 elections, saying: “The challenges to overcome the menace of fraudulent and violent election in our state are enormous but not insurmountable. Although some efforts to address this trend in the recent past met with minimal success, the fact remains that these efforts were driven from outside with little involvement of Rivers indigenes, especially, the non-partisan segment of our society.
“The major tragedy of our electoral process is the feeling among the vast majority of Rivers residents that their votes do not count and that there is no remedy available to them.”
Meanwhile, Sofiri Peterside, a lecturer in the Univeraity of Port Harcourt, called on the media for partnership to ensure free, fair and violence-free election in 2019.
He assured that the group would move to resolve the grievances in the minds of Rivers electorate, political parties and security to ensure smooth and violence-free polls in 2019.