Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is alleging that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded plans to print illegal gubernatorial ballot papers for Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom States, that will, according to him, exclude certain newly registered political parties as a premise for the nullification of the elections of the three States.
Wike made the claim Friday, February 9, when he received a letter of nomination as “Independent Newspapers Political Icon of the Year 2017”, saying that credible intelligence available to the Rivers Government indicated that the indiscriminate registration of new political parties by INEC is for the purpose he described.
“All the mass registration of new political parties is a deliberate plan by INEC to manipulate elections in three States,” the governor said.
“Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Delta States have been earmarked for the printing of ballot papers where some newly registered political parties will be excluded as a ground for the nullification of the elections by the tribunal.
“After the nullification by the tribunal as planned, EFCC will be used by the APC Federal Government to arrest the three governors so that they will not be around during the repeat elections,” he alleged.
The governor further claimed that another strategy of the APC-led Federal Government is to use security agencies to unleash vicious violence on the day of the governorship elections in the three states to facilitate cancellation by INEC.
He also suggested that holding of the presidential election ahead of other elections is yet another scheme in the poll rigging plot he alleges.
Governor Wike said that the APC-led Federal Government has performed poorly and have nothing to campaign on except, according to him, to use INEC and security agencies to rig the coming elections.
“APC is not a political party in the true sense of the word. It is a congregation of people who did not want former President Goodluck Jonathan to continue in office for personal reasons.
“The fight against Jonathan was not in the interest of Nigeria. They have realised their mistakes, but they lack the courage to apologise because of their ego. If you move around you will see that things are bad,” said Wike.
The governor urged journalists to explain to Nigerians the need to elect a credible Federal Government in 2019.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Independent Newspaper, Mr. Ade Adigun, said that the newspaper nominated the governor as the Political Icon of the Year 2017 because of his commitment to the development of democracy.
He commended him for his contributions to the revival of the PDP as a viable opposition in the country.