From Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Following the declaration of the People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in Rivers State, Chief Neyesom Wike, as the winner of April 11th governorship election, the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ikwerre Local government and Rivers Lawyers for Change have rejected the outcome of the result.
In a joint press briefing in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital on Tuesday, the Ikwerre APC leaders described the last Saturday’s election as a coup against the tenet of democracy and the will of the people.
They said it was needless to call for the cancellation of election in Rivers State when election did not take place in the first place, adding that what took place on last Saturday was arrangement of results which cannot be described anywhere as election.
Ikwerre Local government is the LGA of the outgoing governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, which was allocated 10,555 votes while PDP got 23,511 votes.
The House of Assembly candidate and member representing Ikwerre constituency, Hon Azubike Chikere Wanjoku, who led the press briefing yesterday said the people of Ikwerre Local government had rejected the result that produced Wike as a winner.
Wanjoku said like other Local governments in the state, there was no election in Ikwerre Local government but a coup against the people where voters were intimidated and results manipulated.
He accused the INEC of recruiting PDP members as poll clerk; ward and LGA returning officers which he said made the rigging easier for their opponent.
He noted that the April 11th election was between Rivers REC, Dame Gesila Khan, the police and armed thugs who he said through their roles denied Rivers people the right to elect their leaders.
He said: “Everybody that participated in that election as INEC officials, returning officers are members of PDP, they took over the election structure and nobody could listens to us. INEC became PDP, so who do we complain to. Ward collation officers disappeared from the ward and resurfaced latter with results.
“Now, the question is how and where the collation officers got their results, because, as far as we are concern none of the Local government collation officer went to the ward to collate results. Yet they manufactured their results and send to the state. Ikwerre people cannot accept such results,” he stated.
The state chairman, Lawyers for Change, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Dike said they have enough evidence to present before the law court.
Dike who showed journalists the photograph of one Dr. Prince Nmorn , a PDP card carrying member at a PDP rally who was made a returning officer of Ikwerre Local government said there are more evidence that proves that most of the retuning officers are PDP members.
“We are calling on our party supporters to calm down as we are going to address the issue within the confine of the law. We have received evidence of these irregularities, we are presently fine- turning arraignment to retrieve our mandate from the criminals.”