• Dickson seeks probe of violence, congratulates Wike
Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi has described the “desperation of the APC’s chieftains to win elections at all costs” as a threat to the nation’s democracy.
He said it was unfortunate that Nigeria’s electoral fortunes has been on a steady decline since the advent of the APC administration on May 29, 2015.
Makarfi also decried the role of the security agencies and INEC in the rerun elections.
The PDP leader called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the role of the electoral body and the security agencies in the Rivers rerun polls and to call the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi to order.
According to him, the military, SARS and the Department of State Services (DSS) “in the most heinous crime, harassed, intimidated and where there is resistance, killed voters, in a bid to subvert the will of the people of Rivers State in the just concluded re-run legislative elections.”
Makarfi added that “officials of INEC, who compromised their job, and aided in massively rigging the rerun elections must be brought to book by the commission.
“Men of the Nigerian Police, especially SARS, who were used to rig the elections must be investigated, and possibly expelled from the Force by the Inspector General of Police. Ditto for the military and the DSS. No group of persons must be seen to be above the laws of this country.
“Most tragically, Nigerians are confronted with inefficient, chaotic, violent and unsatisfactory electoral system, practices and environment since the inception of the current APC administration on May 29, 2015. A few examples will suffice here. The governorship election in Kogi State was declared inconclusive.
“The governorship election in Bayelsa was also declared inconclusive and had to be repeated after several postponements. The governorship election in Edo State was also postponed for inadequate preparation, threat of violence and the breakdown of law and order. When eventually the election was held, it was marred by unspeakable level of violence perpetrated by members of the military, the police and the SSS on behalf of the APC. These paid servants of the Nigerian state became instant political thugs overnight, snatching ballot papers, stuffing ballot boxes, threatening, harassing, intimidating and dehumanising the opponents of the party in power.
“The climax of this show of shame was witnessed in the serially postponed Rivers legislative rerun election that was conducted a few days ago. Comparable only to the bloodletting, unspeakable tales of horror, breakdown of law and order and utter exercise of impunity by members of the security agencies that defined the general election of 1964 and the Western Regional election of 1965, the Rivers rerun election witnessed the brazenly violent and uncouth behaviour of Nigerian soldiers, police officers and state security personnel who became overnight agents of the APC.”
Speaking yesterday, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has condemned the violence that characterised the elections and called on President Buhari to investigate those behind the violence and bring them them to book.
Dickson, who commended the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for standing by the party, stated that the resilience and bravery of Governor Nyesom Wike, and people of the state was a manifestation of the people’s resolve and conviction in the nation’s democracy.
He commended the leadership of the party and its supporters for resisting attempts by the APC and its collaborators to subvert the collective will of the people as was evidenced in the polls.
Dickson condemned the action of the security agencies, “which instead of being neutral became openly biased and supportive to the opposition in its efforts at maiming, intimidating and derailing the process.”
He called on President Buhari and other relevant organs of government to “carry out a thorough investigation and bring the the perpetrators of election violence to book to protect the nation’s democracy and serve as a deterrent to others.”
The governor urged INEC, security agencies and other major stakeholders to protect the nation’s democracy through proper conduct of future elections, in line with the tenets and practice of democracy all over the world.
Also, Ogoni Youth Movement (OYM) has rejected the results from Rivers South-East Senatorial District and called for the cancellation of the December 10 rerun elections in Khana Local Government Area.
Members of the group, during a protest, yesterday, in Yeghe, alleged that the exercise was marred by irregularities and orchestrated violence by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
National Coordinator of OYM, Ferry Gberegbe said the undemocratic conduct and irregularities experienced in the polling units in Khana council, made it necessary for Ogoni youths to call for outright cancellation of the Saturday’s election.
Gberegbe noted that Ogoni youths would go to any length to ensure that the result is rejected.
“We are calling for the cancellation of the December 10, legislative election in Khana council following the non-release of result sheets to most wards in the area and use of men of the Nigeria Army and Special Anti-Robbery Squad to hijack electoral materials.
“We will continue to protest this result declared in Rivers South East particularly in Khana local government where there is a day robbery. We have evidences of the irregularities that took place in the rerun election in Ogoni,” he said.
This was just as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday, released two additional results, one for Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro federal constituency and one state constituency.
Both seats were won by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This brought the results so far released by INEC to five federal constituencies seats and seven House of Assembly seats.
The results showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has clinched three House of Representatives seats, while PDP has two.
For the state House of Assembly, the PDP is leading with four seats, while APC has three.
Results are being awaited from three Federal Constituencies: Bonny/Degema, Etche/Omuma, and Okrika/Ogu/Bolo. Also, two state constituencies results from Etche 2 and Gokana are yet to be announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The senator-elect for Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Magnus Abe, has promised he would not fail the people.
Abe, who spoke in Bera, Gokana Local Government Area, said he was determined more than ever to tackle the problems of the district headlong.
“Rather than for me to fail, it would have been better I didn’t even win. I cannot afford to fail,” he said.
He urged the people to pray for God’s guidance and direction.
“I want to plead with everybody to pray for me. Don’t stop because we have won election. It is now that I actually need your prayers. We need to pray for people who are not selfish that will help us. We need to pray for people who have grace to advise us properly. We need to pray for strength and health so that we can meet up with the expectations of people physically. We need to pray for opportunities so that we do not disappoint the people that have invested so much hope and trust in us.”
Abe assured the people of the district that he would step up actions to achieve his campaign promises.
He pointed out that what is needed on his own part was hard work and clear cut plans to achieve the promises.
“One gift the Lord has given me is that I understand the value of hard work and I know that if you want to succeed in anything, you must work harder and I am going to work harder now.”
The former secretary to Rivers State Government appealed for support, words of encouragement and unity in realising the promises.
Abe said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from thousands of his people who were streaming in from their different villages to rally round and congratulate him.
“I am very grateful to everybody. The kind of outpouring of love and happiness that I saw yesterday, honestly, since I woke up this morning I have been very worried because I said to myself that this thousands of people across the state that are jubilating and are so happy, they are happy because they hope one way or the other this victory will make a difference.”