Rivers Rerun: PDP, APC at each others’ throats

Written by on December 8, 2016

ABUJA—Ahead of Saturday’s parliamentary rerun elections in Rivers State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, were, yesterday, locked in a war of words over alleged plans to unleash violence.

In the face of the claims and counter-claims, including allegation that Governor Nyesom Wike had been targeted for assassination, the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, pleaded with frightened Corps members, who earlier volunteered to supervise the elections, not to back out. The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris in a retort to Governor Nyesom Wike’s claims of an assassination plot against him, dismissed the allegation which he said was not worth responding to.

This came as State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak, told Vanguard that allegations of a plot to rig the elections were unfounded, even as the Commission, last night, released details of the constituencies where the rerun elections would hold. The elections, the commission said in a statement, would hold in all three senatorial districts, eight federal constituencies, and 10 state constituencies.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Port-Harcourt, yesterday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to include Tai Local Government Area among the local government areas where the elections would hold. The court decision was quickly welcomed by the PDP. Meanwhile, confusion was last night trailing the judgment of a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Muhammad Liman on the status of Tai local government area in the coming rerun elections in the state.

The PDP and the APC gave different interpretations to the judgment of the court sitting in Port Harcourt. While the PDP in a statement by its state Chairman, Mr Felix Obuah, said the court ordered INEC to conduct elections in Tai local government on December 10, the APC on its part in its statement by its Publicity secretary in the state, Mr Chris Finebone said the court only asked that elections be conducted in some of the units in the area.

The war of words between the two major political gladiators was triggered after the PDP accused the ruling APC in Abuja of working hand in glove with security agencies and INEC to rig the election, with a plan to assassinate Governor Wike as part of the scheme. The APC in a sharp retort, accused Governor Wike of storing weapons to be used against the people on election day. The PDP in its statement issued by party spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, also accused the APC of adopting a new rigging formula, different from what it allegedly adopted in recent governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, to be used in Rivers.

The kernel of the rigging plan, according to Prince Adyeye, is to put Governor Wike and other leading PDP chieftains out of circulation to rig the election. The PDP, which accused the immediate past governor of the state and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of being behind the plot, said the alleged withdrawal of 70 per cent of security aides of the governor, including his Chief Security Officer, were part of the script.

“Governor Wike has written two letters to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) reporting this obvious breach of his constitutional rights which has received no response but instead, the CSO, who happens to be the Governor’s number one line of defence was withdrawn as the reply from the IGP. “This latest development has confirmed that the former Governor of Rivers State and now Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi in collaboration with his Party’s-led federal government, and its security agencies have finalized plans to assassinate the Governor of Rivers State.

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