The Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) , Rivers State , Coalition of Political Parties (CUPP) and Coalition of Governorship Candidates in Rivers State have called on the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) , Professor Mahmood Yakubu to disregard calls by a few renegade APC sponsored governorship candidates for the transfer of the Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner and the State Administrative Secretary of INEC.
In a press conference on Monday, the groups that represent 86 Political Parties and 54 Governorship Candidates said that there was no justification for the calls for the transfer of the electoral umpires.
Chairman of IPAC in Rivers State, Sir Precious Baridoo presented their position in Port Harcourt.
They said: “These calls sponsored by the Minister of Transportation and the APC are aimed at creating the ugly atmosphere for the concoction of results and the rigging of the Rivers State Governorship election, which has been won by the Rivers State PDP Governorship Candidate, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
“We also strongly condemn the criminal use of the Nigerian Army by the APC to abduct electoral officers and snatch already collated results for the purpose of rigging the Governorship election in favour of the APC supported Candidate.
“It is most unfortunate that the APC led soldiers of the Nigerian Army to invade the State Collation Centre at INEC Headquarters in Port Harcourt as captured on videos aired on Channels Television and AIT. The whole world saw how they planned to bring in cooked results to alter the will of Rivers people. ”
They berated the military for disrupting the Governorship Collation Process in Rivers State.
He said: “We also condemn the military for disrupting the Collation Process for the Governorship election in Rivers State. We call on President Buhari to take immediate steps to punish all the military personnel involved in this coup against democracy. Our position is strengthened by the fact that the Chief of Army Staff has denied ordering the criminal activities of the Nigerian Army at the Rivers State Governorship Collation Centre at INEC headquarters
“The mischievous call by these sponsored Governorship Candidates is diversionary and aimed disrupting the Collation process and the lawful declaration of Governor Wike as duly re-elected.
“We commend the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for his peaceful and calm disposition, despite the provocative actions of the APC and the military in the face of the fact that Rivers people overwhelmingly voted for him.”
They urged INEC to immediately re-start the Collation process and ensure the declaration of Governor Wike as winner of the elections.
“We urge INEC to immediately re-start the process of collating the Governorship Election results based on official results declared at all polling units where elections were successfully conducted . This Collation should be based on official INEC staff and adhoc personnel detailed to conduct the elections .
“We, therefore, congratulate the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on his re-election as the Governor of Rivers State. We congratulate him based on results from across the state as made available to us by our agents who participated in the elections at different levels.
“This position is further confirmed by the fact that INEC State Constituency Collation Officers across Rivers State have declared 23 PDP Candidates as duly elected for their respective constituencies for the State Assembly elections which ran simultaneously with the Governorship Election, won by the Rivers State Governor”, they said.