▪indicts soldiers for disrupting Collation and attempting to subvert the will of Rivers people
▪says elections were concluded in majority of polling units before soldiers disrupted Collation
▪to meet Federal Security leaders to ensure neutrality during conclusion of Rivers Governorship Election
▪will release timeline for conclusion of process on March 20
The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) has declared that it has in its custody results of 17 out of the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State for the March 9 Governorship Election.
In a statement by Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, the commission said it will release the detailed timeline for the completion of the Rivers State Governorship Election Process on March 20, 2019.
The Commission indicted soldiers for invading Collation Centres and disrupting the Collation Process for the Governorship Election.
According to the INEC Statement, declarations and returns were made for 21 State Constituencies out of the 32 State Constituencies in the state.
INEC expressed displeasure with the invasion of collation Centres by the military and viewed the action as an attempt to subvert the will of Rivers people.
The Commission said that it will engage security agencies at the National Level and state level to demand neutrality and professionalism during the conclusion of the process.
They stated that voting was concluded in majority of the polling units in the state, only for the Collation process to be disrupted by the soldiers.
INEC will also meet with key stakeholders in Rivers State to ensure the peaceful completion of the Rivers Governorship election.
The Statement Read:
“On the 10th of March 2019, the Commission suspended all electoral processes in Rivers State having determined that there was widespread disruption of collation of results of the elections conducted on the 9th day of March 2019. Subsequently, the Commission set up a Fact-Finding Committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.
“The Commission met on the 15th day of March 2019 and considered the report of the Committee and established the following:
“That the Governorship and State Assembly elections took place in most of the polling units and results were announced.
“That the results from 17 Local Governments out of 23 are available and are in the Commission’s custody.
“That the Declaration and Returns for 21 State Constituencies out of 32 were made prior to the suspension.
“That collation centres were invaded by some soldiers and armed gangs resulting in the intimidation and unlawful arrest of election officials thereby disrupting the collation process.
“Consequent upon the foregoing, the Commission:
“Expresses its displeasure with the role played by some soldiers and armed gangs in Rivers State disrupting the collation process and attempting to subvert the will of the people.
“INEC is committed to expeditious completion of the collation process where results of the elections have been announced.
“Will engage the security agencies at the national level and the lnter-Agency Consultative Committee at the State level to demand neutrality and professionalism of security personnel in order to secure a peaceful environment for the completion of the elections.
“Will also engage with key stakeholders in Rivers State with a view to ensuring a smooth and peaceful completion of the process.
“Will issue detailed timelines and activities for the completion of the election on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019. “