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Rivers election: You must punish indicted offenders, elders tell FG

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By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – RIVERS Elders and Leaders Forum, RELEC, has charged Federal Government to punish anyone connected with the violence and irregularities that have resulted in the impasse over March 9 governorship and state assembly elections in Rivers state.

Soldiers and policemen stand at the gate of the state headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on March 10, 2019. – Fears has gripped residents of oil-rich Port Harcourt city in Niger delta region as state headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission has been condoned off by dozens of fierce looking soldiers, anti-riots policemen and other complementary security agents who are jointly patrolling the city ahead of the much awaited results of the just concluded governorship and state assembly elections. (Photo by AFP)

The body push the pressure on government in a communique signed by its Chairman and former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency and of the State Security Service, Chief Albert A.K. Horsfall, following March 15 meeting he convened in Port Harcourt.

The elders bemoaned the killings in the 2019 elections and perceived misconducts of the military and sister security operatives over another round of violent elections in the state, adding that the developing along with “irresponsible behavior and utterances of key political leaders” were gradually making Rivers lose its pride among Nigerian states.

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Among other measures to change the narrative of violent elections in the state, RELEC proffered that, “That electoral offenders be punished and brought to justice as deterrent to others. Traditional rulers should stay out of politics to sustain their prestige and honor.

“That Rivers government, civil society organizations and corporate bodies should vigorously embark on grassroots enlightenment and engage the youths on vocational training and other meaningful ventures.

“INEC should release the collated results of the Governorship and State House of Assembly election that truly reflect the wishes of the ordinary Rivers”

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