Rivers Rerun: Probe Violence, Military Involvement Now, Sheriff Tells Buhari

Rivers Rerun: Probe Violence, Military Involvement Now, Sheriff Tells Buhari

…Demands declaration of all results already collated

Chris Steven, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has been told to immediately constitute a panel to investigate the violence that characterized Rivers state rerun elections and the role played by the military, with a view to unraveling the truth and bringing the culprits to book.

National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff made this demand on Tuesday in Abuja during a press conference.

Condemning the role of the military, Sheriff pointed out that in some cases they acted beyond their expected role of maintenance of law and order and taken over the responsibility of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the actual conduct of the re-run elections.

He said: “Whilst we join well-meaning Nigerians to condemn the cases of violence which reportedly characterized the process in some areas, we enjoin the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately constitute a panel to carry out a dispassionate investigation of the circumstances with a view to unraveling the truth and bringing the
culprits to book.

“The PDP also condemns the reported roles played by some officers and members of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who are said to have in some cases acted beyond their expected role of maintenance of law and order and taken over the responsibility of INEC in the actual conduct of the re-run election.

“The fact that the Armed Forces acted as they did in flagrant disobedience of an order of court to the contrary is a matter that requires urgent investigation and appropriate sanction.”

The PDP National Chairman also expressed concern over the role of INEC in withholding already collated results.

“INEC, after results had been collated and declared on the ground in many wards and constituencies, yielded to the pressure and instruction of a highly placed politician in Rivers state to suspend the much-awaited declaration of final results and return of the winners, who are already well known to the electorate.

“We stress that the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended) and applicable regulations do not support the suspension of the declaration of
results after collation has been completed. We therefore demand for the declaration of all results already collated and the return of
the winners of the elections,” he said.

Sheriff, however declared that PDP is not against deployment of military to checkmate insecurity, but not when it is playing the role of INEC