Rivers Rerun: Controversy trails non-announcement of Ikwerre results

Election, voters

Results of senatorial, federal and state constituencies elections held in Ikwerre and Emouha local government areas, LGAs, are yet to be announced, hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission announced results from six other councils in Rivers East senatorial district.

Ikwerre and Emouha are in Rivers East senatorial district, as are Obio-Akpor, Okrika, Ogu-Bolo, Etche, Port Harcourt and Omuma LGAs.

Both LGAs are also paired to form Ikwerre/Emouha federal constituency.

But there have been allegations that the delay in releasing the Ikwerre result is a consequence of the actions taken by the Minister for Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, allegedly aided by security operatives.

The PDP spokesperson in Rivers State, Samuel Nwanosike, alleged that Mr. Amaechi, alongside the Commissioner of Police deployed to Rivers East, soldiers, and police officers, stormed the collation centre on Saturday evening to hijack results.

He alleged that the security operatives, allegedly cooperating with Mr. Amaechi, forcibly sent people, including journalists and opposition agents, out of the venue and locked it up.

Mr. Nwanosike said that before Mr. Amaechi arrived with “200 soldiers”, the Commissioner of Police had come to “lock the doors and declare nobody goes out; nobody comes.”

He said when the police boss was confronted, he said he was acting on “instructions from the federal government.”
The spokesperson accused the minister of “hijacking all the results”.

 

The development led to protest last night by PDP supporters in Ikwerre.

“Now, we are mobilising for another protest to INEC office at Isiokpo,” Mr. Nwanosike said.

PDP believes results are with Mr, Amaechi, he added.

A corps member and election personnel who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, asking not to be named for security reasons, lamented the conduct of the exercise in Ikwerre and attested to claims soldiers taking sides with APC to manipulate outcomes.

Mr. Amaechi could not be reached for comments.

His spokesperson, David Iyiofor, did not answer repeated calls placed to his phone; neither did he reply a text seeking response to accusations made against the minister.

He had told PREMIUM TIMES yesterday that the minister could not vote because hoodlums snatched result sheet for his polling unit.

Interestingly, the APC ‘helped’ circulate an army statement through apcrivers@yahoo.com, denying bias in the polls.

The statement signed by Kasimu Abdulkarim, general officer commanding of the 6 division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, read:

“It is true that soldiers of 6 Division Nigerian Army provided security during the Rivers legislative re-run election.

“These people allegedly accused soldiers of ballot box snatching, illegal escorts of some politicians, arrest and detention of voters during the general conduct of the elections.

“The weighty nature of these allegations could cause members of the public to view soldiers negatively, hence the need to adequately inform the general public on the true perspective.

“The public thus need to consider them as mere farce to garner public sympathy.”

Meanwhile, PDP has won in the other six LGAs in the senatorial district whose results have been announced by INEC.

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