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APC says what took place in Rivers was electoral banditry

APC says what took place in Rivers was electoral banditry

What took place in Rivers State in February and March 2023 were nothing but electoral banditry, so says the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

This comes after the leader of the party in the state, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, said the party contested not against the PDP but against INEC and the police.

In press briefing to review their loss in the governorship and House of Assembly elections, the party Gov Nwesom Wike has also tacitly confirmed the notion through a broadcast by revealing every figure in every unit where his opponents voted, saying this was evidence that the governor had secret access to many things inside the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The party boss in the state, Emeka Beke, who was represented by the publicity secretary, Darlington Nwauju, said each local council boss led squads that attacked anybody that stood in their way and hijacked ballot boxes and did what they liked to produce results that were handed to INEC to announce.

He said Wike’s broadcast was an unconscious revelation of what he did and every strategy he applied and how he arranged what happened to votes in candidates’ units. “He easily knows the result of each polling unit, maybe before voting started or to justify words on the streets that results were allocated to each candidate several days before the day of election proper. The infamous broadcast showed how he planned the operations and the marching order he gave against each prominent politician in the state.”

Then, the APC said, a part of his interview had him shockingly downplay the death of the campaign coordinator of the APC gubernatorial campaign at Ahoada West and others who were brutally murdered on election day for choosing to exercise their franchise and defending their votes against the PDP forces which he said were unleashed across the state.

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“We are pained but not surprised at the dismissive response offered by the outgoing governor in a mindless attempt to explain away the killing of a doctorate degree scholar who incidentally and quite significantly, should have been defending his doctoral thesis (today, Thursday 23rd March 2023).

Nwauju said the scholar had his life mowed down by bullets of thugs organized by a political party to forcefully impose themselves on the people of the state against their will. “The events of 2023 bear resemblance with the yet to be investigated killings of APC members in 2015 and during the 2016 re-run elections in Rivers State.”

The APC listed those killed in Ahoada West LGA 2023 as Esor Godspower Ajahu, Ward 10, Unit 01; Chiosom Lennard Tabele, Ward 10 Unit 02 – LGA Coordinator; Okpara Chienyere, Unit 01 Ward 10; Goodnews Michael Okpara, Anakpo community, Ward 8 Unit 5; and two persons still missing in this LGA.

“May we remind Nigerians that the event of March 18th and 19th 2023, which witnessed the suppression of votes, bypass of BVAS, intimidation of voters, outright violence and brutal killings in Rivers State which clearly violates Section 125 and 128 of the 2022 Electoral Act (as amended), can never be forgotten or swept under the carpet by a million broadcasts.

“To further confirm our party’s claim of state sponsored violence and intimidation of opponents, let us draw the attention of the outgoing governor and the public to what the United Kingdom said on the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in Nigeria, thus: ‘members of our observation mission personally observed violence and voter suppression in numerous voting locations. We witnessed and received credible reports from other observer missions and civil society organisations of vote-buying and voter intimidation, the destruction and hijacking of election materials and the general disruption of the process in numerous states including Lagos, Enugu and Rivers”.

The APC said Wike merely tried to justify the bloody rigging that took place in the state because the truth has been revealed and corroborated by international observers.

Nwauju noted that the streets of Port Harcourt went silent immediately the announcement of results was made. “Little wonder the shunning of a victory party organised for youths at the Elechi Amadi Polytechnic and the few who came refused to dance or rejoice even when organisers begged them to do so to justify their pay.

“Is it not sobering that the outgoing Governor of Rivers State is the only one gloating over the outcome of these bloody elections when everyone else is moody? Election robbers are hiding their faces. Does Gov Wike not know that this is one election where the winners are full of shame while those that didn’t win are being celebrated everywhere? Why not follow others to hide faces and allow Nigerians to heal?”

Amaechi did not say anything about Tinubu’s qualification to contest

Meanwhile, the APC in the state says their recognized leader, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, did not say that Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not qualify to contest the election as he has been quoted to say.

The party said it has uncovered a hatchet job carried out by a faceless online medium crediting their leader with comments questioning the role of the APC and INEC over the screening/qualification of the President-elect.

The statement by Nwauju said: “We want to make it abundantly clear that at no time did our leader make such demonic comments whether in private or public to query the qualifications of the President-elect or linking him to drug trafficking within or outside Nigeria.

“Such claptraps are handiworks of fifth columnists who do not wish our leader well and for the avoidance of doubts, our leader has no personal angst against the President-elect.

“We wish to warn these purveyors of fake news of the fire consequences of flying such wicked and unfounded rumours.”