By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said that as a major stakeholder in the Rivers State political space, the APC has received with mixed feelings INEC’s timeline for concluding the governorship and state assembly elections that started on March 9 and the reasons are simple.
The opposition party in a statement signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary Senibo Chris Finebone expressed dismay that, “INEC has not shown sufficient good faith in the way it brought the collation to an abrupt stop without cogent, verifiable and convincing reasons. The supposed umpire went ahead to announce that collation for 17 LGAs had been concluded as against the records provided by our situation room. And to make matters worse, INEC refused, failed or neglected to name the said 17 LGAs where it claimed collation had been concluded.”
Text of the press release reads: “Secondly, INEC curiously announced that it has dropped four LGA Collation Officers confirmed to be PDP card-carrying members without the umpire clearing the air about the status of the LGA results the four ad hoc personnel supposedly collated.
“So many questions come to mind. Could the four collation officers be unfit for the job while the collations they conducted are acceptable? Of course, that cannot be! Why is INEC jittery or afraid to name the 17 LGAs if not for the simple reason that some underhand dealings might have taken place for which it is covering up? With the violation of the collation process by Gov. Wike when he stormed the Obio/Akpor Collation Centre where his CSO and security detail shot an army captain and other soldiers in the process, why does it seem that INEC’s body language is suggesting that Obio/Akpor collation has been completed?
“To the APC, INEC is up to some mischief clearly pointing to a clear determination to rig the overall result of the March 9 elections in favour of Gov. Wike and the PDP. The signs are visible enough to the blind and loud enough to the deaf. All the shenanigans so far exhibited by INEC only go to confirm that fear.
“In any case, the APC will subject the recent announcement by INEC to meticulous scrutiny after which the party’s position will further be made public.”