Wike, Dakuku clash over electoral fraud
FROM CHRIS ANUCHA, PORT HARCOURT
Members of the All Progressives Congress(APC) yesterday took to the streets to protest the conduct of the December 10, 2016 legislative rerun election in the state.
The protesters, led by the deputy governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections, Asia Asita, marched to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Aba Road, and later, the Rivers State Police Command, where they submitted a petition to the Inspector General of police through the Command.
The protesters, in their thousands, had stormed the Police Headquarters on Moscow Road and INEC to express displeasure over the conduct of the December 10 rerun election.
Armed with placards with various inscriptions such as: “Aniedi Ikoiwak must go”, “New Rivers of Blood”, among others, they demanded the immediate removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) in the state, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak.
Handing over a petition and audio tape of where the governor was allegedly negotiating with INEC officials on phone, to influence the result of the rerun election for payment, Asita stated that the party was now ready to face the governor .
He explained that members of the party would no longer fold their hands and watch the governor destroy institutions in the state.
Asita said: “We have formally presented a petition to the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission. We have also presented the petition to the IGP, through the Commissioner of Police in the state.
“We are protesting the conduct of the election, especially in the Rivers East Senatorial District, where election results are yet to be collated in four local government arears, when the INEC went ahead to declare the results, in favour of the PDP and presented certificates.
“We have come to lay a formal complaint to the INEC, by now, we had hoped that Wike would concentrate on the governance of the state. We have allowed him to govern, but he is distracting himself in the governance of the state. We are here therefore, to formally notify him that we are now ready to contend with him.”
He disclosed how they earlier reported the matter to the police, the presidency, DSS and others, but they failed to act.
“We are able to confront him. It is just that as leaders, we believe that we will not wage war against our people, and we have continued to control ourselves. Today, we are asking Ikoiwak to leave Rivers State because, he has conducted himself in a disgraceful manner. Ikoiwak went ahead to announce results, even when the process has not been concluded,” he further said.
The head of the Commission’s legal department, Mr. Adeyemi Olufemi, who collected the petition , commended the APC members for their peaceful conduct and promised that the letter and tape would be sent to its headquarters in Abuja for attention.
At the Police Headquarters, Rivers Command, where Asita said: “DSP Mohammed Alkali was killed and beheaded with other police officers, but nothing has been done; no arrest has been made.
“We are here to present a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Idris Abubakar, demanding an investigation into all politically motivated killings in the state.”
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration), Mr. Cyril Okoro, who received the petition and the tape said they would be forwarded to the IGP.
Okoro, however, enjoined the APC leaders not to allow the protest to escalate
Recall that Governor Wike recently led thousands of PDP supporters to protest the conduct of the same election.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, has accused the All Progressives Congress(APC) of sponsoring Sahara Reporters to release audio clip of where he allegedly arranged payment for INEC officials, with a view to influencing them to rig the recent legislative rerun elections in the state.
The governor, however, denied meeting or speaking with any INEC officials, with the intention of giving them money for the purpose of rigging the rerun elections.
Governor Wike, who spoke to journalists at the Government House, Port Harcourt, accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of sponsoring the Sahara reporters to release the audio tape, and described it, as “concocted audio clip, aimed at diverting attention from electoral fraud and violence by federal security agencies”.
He said: “When you look at certain things, you just laugh. At no time did I speak to any electoral officer, let alone issue threats to any electoral officer.
There is nowhere I spoke to an electoral officer, threatening him or her as the case maybe. I never spoke with anybody, I never threatened anybody. Nobody can say that he sat with me or that I threatened him or her. Let any electoral officer come forward to say that I called him or her on phone.
“I never spoke to anybody. It is totally not correct. The major issue is , did the police participate in rigging election? Did the Army participate in rigging election? Did INEC compromise? The police is denying somebody that was captured on video. That is what they are trying to cover up.
Reacting to the audio tape, the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, condemned the governor for allegedly getting involved in election rigging and issuing threats to INEC officials.
He spoke through his media team.
Dakuku, who is also the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration And Safety Agency (NIMASA) said: “I have observed with horror, the audio tape now going viral on the internet, that revealed how Nyesom Wike, the Rivers State governor, abused the honour and trust of his office, to organise the rigging of the legislative elections that took place December 10.”
“Rather than take responsibility for his action, he is blaming the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and myself and other highflyers of the APC, for collaborating with Sahara Reporters that caught him on tape.
“Governor Wike has not done well. He should not cast aspersions on me and members of APC, who did not force him to turn on his phone and voice out murderous words and profanities”