The Coalition of Rivers State Non Government Organizations, (NGOs) has tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to release the names of the 17 local government areas whose results had been declared collated in Rivers state.
This is coming ahead of Wednesday’s date for the completion of collated results of the governorship election in the state.
The coalition which claimed to be an amalgamation of both indigenous and other NGOs in Rivers State further charged INEC to be transparent enough to unveil names of the 17 local councils so as to enhance and instill confidence of the electorate, the political actors in Rivers and entire Nigerians in the electoral process in the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) in a statement at the weekend while announcing the report of its Fact-Finding team sent to Rivers state, revealed that the outcome of the process had already been declared in 17 out of the 23 local government areas in the state before it announced suspension of the process.
In the communiqué signed by Somina Wokoma and Honorable Eferebo Godson, Convener and spokesperson of the group, respectively, they declared that the failure of the Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obong Effang, to publish names of the 17 local government whose results had been declared and the outstanding 6 confirmed their fear that the results were being doctored by INEC to favour their preferred candidate, Governor Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party.
While it further joined the league of stakeholders demanding for the removal of Obong Effang, the group submitted that the suspension of collation of results by INEC was a flagrant violation of section 26 of the electoral Act. 2010 (as amended).
They asked the Commission chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, to remove the State REC and replace him with someone whose professional judgement could not be compromised.
The communiqué signed by the Ijaw Youth Council, Kalabari, Kalabari Mandate Group, Liberation for Next Level, Rivers Grassroot Summit, amongst others read in part:
“We closely monitored the March 9th governorship and Assembly elections and we are alarmed by the judgement of the State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obong Effanga and his staff , especially the Administrative Secretary who had the effrontery to wrongly advise INEC headquarters to suspend a smoothly running election.
“We the members of the coalition, true sons and daughters of Rivers State and law abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wish to state as follows:
“That the suspension of the election process was a well orchestrated move by Governor Nyesom Wike and his co-conspirators , Obong Effanga and Elder Etim Umoh of Rivers State INEC.
” The suspension of the largely smooth running electoral process in the State is a flagrant violation of section 26 of the electoral Act. 2010 (as amended).
“INEC’s refusal to publish the names of the acclaimed collated seventeen(17) LGA’s and the outstanding Six(6) LGA’s is a clear act of deceit and treachery & confirmation of our long held suspicion that all is not well with the current Rivers INEC team .
“That the clearly and openly compromised actions of Obong Effanga and Elder Etim Umoh have made us lose confidence in them to complete the process as this will be tantamount to Wike being also the umpire in his own election. We will resist this to our last blood.
” The activities of the Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner Obong Effanga and the Administrative secretary Elder Etim Umoh is a breach of public trust and abuse of public powers.
” We warn the national security agencies of an impending breakdown of law and order should unholy alliance/collaboration with Wike to force himself on Rivers People using INEC and the Judiciary is not nipped in the bud right away
“We are sure that by now the intelligence agencies have confirmed that if not for the highly professional conduct of the security agencies especially the Military in protecting the electorate during that elections, thugs dressed on military uniforms would have turned Rivers State into an ocean of blood, worse than what they did in the 2015 general elections.
“We demand that The Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner Obo Effanga and the administrative secretary Elder Etim Umoh be redeployed with immediate effect to forestall any foul play that will lead making our dear Rivers State a theatre of war..
“We call on the INEC Chairman Prof. Yakubu Mahmood to replace them with people of integrity and sound reputation.”
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