The suspension of Rivers state governorship election results has caused a heavy protest in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The protesters, led by one Jackson Omenazu, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to complete the collation and announcement of the results, Vanguard reports.
Continentour.com.ng recalls that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned what it described as “confiscation’’ of the Rivers governorship election results and demanded immediate release of the poll results to avert serious crisis.
The PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, March 10, said that the party completely revile the subversive act by soldiers, who were alleged to have seized and diverted the results to an army barrack in Port Harcourt.
He called on all lovers of democracy to unite against the “brazen attack” on Nigeria’s democracy, saying such barefaced “assault is only akin to a coup d’état and should not be allowed to stand”.
He said that Nigerians watched in bewilderment as soldiers, in the company of alleged All Progressives Congress (APC) thugs, invaded polling units in Rivers, unleashed violence on voters, disrupted polling processes and made away with electoral materials.
Ologbondiyan said this was just because the APC was not in the ballot following its self-inflicted exclusion from the election.
He said that the use of soldiers to ambush the electoral process and confiscate results was an extreme scheme by the APC to enmesh the Rivers governorship election in controversy, seeing that there was no way they could take away victory from the PDP.
Meanwhile, Continentour.com.ng previously reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended the electoral processes in Rivers state, citing widespread irregularities.
In a statement signed by Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner and chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, the electoral body said it’s decision to suspend the elections was based on “reports from our officials in the field”.
The statement reads: “Based on reports from our officials in the field, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has determined that there has been a widespread disruption of elections conducted on the 9th day of March 2019 in Rivers state.
“These initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres, staff have been taken hostage and materials including result sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.
In addition, safety of our staff appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the commission is concerned about the credibility of the process.
“Consequently, at a meeting held today 10th March 2019, the commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice.
This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 4790 of the Regulations and Guidelines of the commission”
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