The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the rerun election in Rivers East Senatorial District and Rivers West.
The Returning Officer, Prof Onu Ekumankama, said PDP’s Senator George Sekibo polled 98, 098 votes to defeat Mr Andrew Uchendu of the APC who polled 34, 193 votes in Rivers East.
In Rivers West Senatorial District, the Returning Officer, Prof Raphael Ndubuisi Echebiri, said PDP’s Osinakachukwu Ideozu polled 107, 166 votes to defeat APC’S Otelemaba Amachree who scored 46, 898 votes. APC rejected the results.
The commission on Sunday declared Senator Magnus Abe winner of the third Senatorial district, Rivers Southeast.
Speaking at the Government House yesterday, Wike praised Rivers people for standing up in defence of democracy and the state’s interest.
He praised the people for their courage in the face of what he called murderous security agencies who, he said, killed, maimed and stole ballot boxes in their bid to subvert the will of the people.
The PDP rejected Abe’s victory.
The APC also rejected the declaration of Sekibo and Ideozu as senators-elect.
PDP, in a statement by its spokesperson Dayo Adeyeye said Abe’s election was marred by massive manipulation of the electoral process in active connivance with the security agencies.
“The whole world knew that election did not take place in the Rivers South East Senatorial District. We therefore reject the declaration of Magnus Abe with the fabricated results, and demand INEC to conduct election in that constituency.
“We promise to avail ourselves every opportunity to seek redress in this matter in the interest of democracy and that of the constituents who are denied their right to vote,” the PDP stated.
The party also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately release other election results being withheld by the electoral body.
“Anything short of this is unacceptable and the INEC, security agencies and the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi should be held responsible in whatever manner the people of Rivers State decide to react for robbing them of their votes,” the statement added.
The party condemned what it described as the adverse role of the army, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other security agencies during the elections.
Adeyeye said: “It was a nightmare and a complete reversal of their constitutional mandates of safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country and the protection of lives and properties.”
“It is no gainsaying that this rerun election in Rivers State was not only a contest between political parties but mostly the PDP in contest with the Army, the Police, the INEC, the APC, and the Federal Government of Nigeria represented by the Honourable Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and co manipulators.
“We therefore call on all Nigerians to rise up to this challenge and stop the Federal Government, the APC and INEC from organizing undemocratic elections as witnessed in most part of Rivers State and other previous elections in the country since the assumption of this government. If Nigerian elections travesty continues, it’s goodnight to democracy.”
Besides Abe’s election, Rivers PDP also rejected the declaration of Barry Mpigi, Friday Nke-Ee, Innocent Barikor and others of the APC as winners in Rivers Southeast senatorial district.
The party claimed that the rejection of the results stemmed from the fact that elections never took place in Rivers Southeast Senatorial District.
Speaking for the APC, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the party would challenge the result of Rivers East Senatorial District rerun.
Peterside told a news conference in Port Harcourt that the collation of the district’s election results was marred with irregularities.
He said results of some local government areas in the district had not been collated.
Peterside also alleged that due process was not followed in announcing the results.
“You are aware that elections were inconclusive in Etche Local Government Area; the results for Emohua Local Government Area have not been collated; the results for Port Harcourt City Local Government Area were partially collated.
“The APC agent was beaten at the collation centre in Port Harcourt. Without him being present, the result was announced in favour of the PDP candidate.
“Whatever result is declared for Rivers East will be ridiculing democracy. APC will not accept any of that,” he said.
Peterside said the APC would use constitutional means to resist the alleged irregularities.
With Peterside were APC Chairman Chief Davies Ikanya; ex-Rivers Commissioner for Agriculture Emma Chindah; and other party leaders. He described police’s arrest of Wike’s Commissioner for Urban Development, Chinyere Igwe, with original pre-filled Rivers East senatorial District’s results as a step in the right direction.
Peterside said: “This (yesterday) morning by 9:00hours, Chinyere Igwe, a member of the Rivers State Executive Council, who is not an INEC official, was caught with original pre-filled senatorial results for Emohua LGA (part of Rivers East Senatorial District).
Police have since arrested him. This goes to confirm our earlier assertion that PDP conspired with others to print fake result sheets. This has gone to vindicate what we said earlier that the frame-up of Atonyesia Peterside was done by the PDP to deliberately decieve the unsuspecting public.
“As I speak (yesterday afternoon), Chinyere Igwe is still with the police and those pre-filled result sheets by members of the PDP are with the police. We have also been briefed by our representatives that they have gone ahead to collate senatorial results without the results of Emohua LGA, which is the local government of our senatorial candidate (Chief Andrew Uchendu). There were proper elections in Emohua LGA, with credible results, where APC emerged victorious. However, because they could not bring in their fake result sheets, the results they filled outside the purview of INEC, they have gone ahead to declare a few other results.
“In Andoni LGA, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, they started collation of results. it was going on smoothly, when suddenly the collation officer disappeared, when he noticed, with Tele Ikuru, the former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, that PDP had lost it and APC had won in most of the wards. He (collation officer) disappeared, claiming that he was ill. He is still at large till now.
“By 4 p.m. (on Sunday), the Electoral Officer claimed that he was looking for some of the result sheets and because of that, the INEC office in Port Harcourt had ordered that they should come back to Port Harcourt and collect fresh result sheets to fill out the Form EC8A that they have and transfer it to Forms EC8B and EC8C.
“From the results already with our agents, APC had clearly won the House of Assembly election (for Andoni Constituency) and, of course, the House of Representatives poll (for Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro Constituency).”
Police Spokesman Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), could not be reached for comments on the arrest of Wike’s commissioner.