Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare all verifiable results of last Saturday’s governorship election in the state, on units and ward bases.
The Rivers traditional rulers said only compromised results should be discountenanced.
The royal fathers made their position known, yesterday, in a press conference addressed by their Chairman, the Amayanabo of Opobo, King Douglas Dandeson Jaja.
“We urge INEC to declare all verifiable results and immediately look into only compromised results on units and wards bases, where boxes were snatched by thugs or military personnel.
“We cannot go through another round of elections at a later date. INEC must ensure collated results are declared and not tampered with by third parties.”
They expressed disappointment at the alleged involvement of the military and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) personnel in the direct process of last Saturday’s elections in Rivers.
They said: “What we have, today, is a few government appointees using federal apparatus, including men in uniform, to cause chaos and breakdown of law and order.
“Our people, who have attempted to resist such illegality have either been arrested or dealt with extra judicially.”
They regretted that Rivers communities have been militarised, with innocent people harassed, arrested and detained.
“We are sad to note that in many kingdoms and communities, the uniformed or military men were actively involved in giving cover to politicians and their thugs, who are carting ballot boxes and result sheets.
“There are also allegations that some of these uniformed personnel are ‘fake soldiers’ but, the real soldiers have not arrested any of the so-called fake soldiers involved in these dastardly acts.
“The army has also come out on Africa Independent Television (AIT), on March 11, 2019, to state that the people in army uniforms are fake. So, why are they not being arrested, if they are thugs in military uniforms?” they asked.
They described as deafening, the silence of the National Peace Committee, headed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and wondered why the committee has failed to call all parties and the military to order, for breaching the peace.
The monarchs said parties cannot be asked to accept results of elections that are brazenly rigged, manipulated and falsified in an atmosphere of intimidation and violence.
“Last time we checked, the President and Commander in Chief has not given any such order, neither has the Chief of Army Staff or Chief of Air Staff ordered the full participation of the military in the electoral process in our various kingdoms.”