Five governorship candidates in Rivers State, have raised the alarm over alleged plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (INEC) to rig the Saturday’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections in connivance with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governorship candidates are Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sobomabo Jackreece of the National Rescue Movement (NRM) and Tonte Ibraye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
Others are the governorship candidates of the Accord Party, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs and his Action Alliance (AA) counterpart, Dr. Dawari George, who were represented by their running-mates, Mrs. Tambari Hilda Dedam and Rev. Tonnie Anoruewhom, respectively.
Addressing joint media conference on behalf of others in Port Harcourt yesterday, the APC governorship candidate, Cole, said urged INEC to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act during the election.
He said: “This press conference was called to draw your attention to a well orchestrated plot by certain top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to compromise the Governorship and House of Assembly election billed for this Saturday, March 18, 2023.
“We have invited you to intimate you of the fact of serial breach of the Electoral Act by these officials who rather than enforce public confidence in the commitment and capability of INEC to deliver on a credible, free and fair Gubernatorial and House of Assembly election on Saturday, March 18, 2023, are working hand in gloves with well known leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to hijack the aforementioned election in the state.
“We are reliably informed of a recent plot by the Governor of the state, to use the local government Secretariat’s by INEC as Collation Centres to rig the results of the aforementioned election.
“We were also informed that Governor Wike has instructed all the LGA Executive Chairmen to carry out what he called ‘Operation No Mercy’ against every other party agents being the Chief Security Officers of their respective LGAs, to ensure that those agents representing their respective political party interests do not gain access to the Collation Centres.
“He has also assured the INEC officials of their safety and that they should comply with the PDP agents to manipulate the process before taking it through the state collation centres.
“In view of the above, our prayers are as follows: that INEC and every relevant security agency should stop all government officials from accessing the collation centres.
“That in accordance with section 43 (1) of the Electoral Act prohibiting government officials from acting from acting as agents of political parties at collations, INEC and relevant security authorities should restrict the movement of all government officials from the Executive Governor, Wike down Executive Chairmen.
“And that they should all stay away from Collation Centres as their presence will compromise the process as it did in the February 25 election.”