Gentlemen of the Press
THE POSITION OF AFRICAN ACTION CONGRESS (AAC) ON THE SUSPENSION OF THE GOVERNORSHIP AND HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS IN RIVERS STATE
My name is Engr. AwaraBiokpomabo, the Governorship candidate for the African Action Congress (AAC), the candidate leading in the Governorship election. You are all welcome to this press conference on the state of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the 09-03-2019.
My Party, the African Action Congress (AAC) a duly registered Political Party fielded candidates for the Governorship, House of Representatives, Senate, and House of Assembly positions for the General Elections held on the 9th day of March, 2019.
The aforesaid elections held as scheduled and proceeded up to collation stage in some Local Government Areas, and in some other Local Government Areas, results had already been collated and declared, before the Independent National Electoral Commission suspended the remaining stages of the election, which I was in clear lead and was coasting to victory. Some of the unit results announced at the polling units in the Local Government were collations were not concluded clearly before the suspension of the processes show that I won over 15 Local Government Areas.
The INEC pleaded insecurity, violence, seizure of electoral materials by hoodlums etc. as the reasons for suspending the remaining stages of the Election. I reject the reason given by INEC. This because in the Local Government Areas that were affected, voting had concluded, results declared at the polling units and collation had begun before the abrupt suspension of the process. The Commission does not have the power under our Electoral Act to suspend elections that has already been concluded.
My agents at the field reported to me that the results had already been declared in the under listed Local Government:
|i.||PORT HARCOURT CITY LOCAL GOVERNMENT||11,866||42,190|
The Local Government Areas collations were ongoing were:
- Ahoada East
The suspension of the elections by INEC was done to give respite to candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was trailing behind, frustrate my victory. My party went into these elections against an umpire dangerously skewed in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).The Resident Electoral Commission, all the Electoral Officers, Assistant Electoral Officers, Heads of Department in the Rivers Offices of The Commission were all working for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. No wonder when they saw that I was leading and would eventually win the election, they raised a false alarm to the Headquarter of the Commission and misinformed them that there was widespread violence and seizure of electoral materials.
We have on good authority the following facts:
- Every Local Government Council Chairman in Rivers State pays the sum of One Million Naira (N1,000,000) the Electoral Officer assigned to his Local Government and other sums of money to other electoral personnel;
- The Resident Electoral Commissioner was bought a house for in Maitama Area of Abuja by the Governor of Rivers State, who incidentally is the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); and
iii. The Administrative Secretary of the Rivers State office of the Commission, Elder Etim John was paid the sum of Three Hundred Million (N300,000,000) Naira by Governor Wike as inducement to secure 100 percent posting of the Ad-hoc staff list in favour of the PDP.
To justify the financial inducement given to him by the Governor, the said Administrative Secretary Elder Etim John did not only ensure that the posting of the Ad-hoc staff overtly favoured the PDP but he also got carried away to the extent that he even included the names of well known relatives of some PDP candidates and chieftains in the list.
On his part the State Resident Electoral Commisioner (REC) Mr. Oboe Efaga on the eve of the election replaced most of the ad-hoc workers which were already published on the Commission’s notice boards with the names of card carrying members of the PDP. For instance, in the following Local Government Areas the under listed persons were suddenly deployed as Local Government Collation Officers:
- Emohua ——- Dr. Peter Medeea card carrying member of the PDP
- Khana ——– Mr. GbenekanuLedornu who is both a card carrying member of the PDP and the younger brother of Dr. Barr Mpigi (a Senatorial Candidate of the PDP) was appointed Returning Officer for Khana LGA. The said Mr. GbenekanuLedornu has just completed course work on his Ph.Dprogramme. He is not yet a Lecturer not to talk of been a Senior Lecturer, yet Elder Etim John conniving with Mr. Oboe Efaga appointed him Returning Officer for Khana LGA.
Iii. Tai: Prof. Patrick Mmon a card carrying member of PDP
The said State Resident Electoral Commissioner Mr. Oboe Efaga has not been able to conclude any election in Rivers State since he took over the office. You will all recall thatthe State Resident Electoral Commissioner Mr. Oboe Efagaafter suspending thePHALGA Constituency111 State House of Assembly rerun electionrecklessly abandoned that election process since August 2018 until date. The AACwill not again allow the State Resident Electoral Commissioner Mr. Oboe Efagaand INECto subvert a free and fair elections solely because it was obvious to them that their preferred candidate was losing the election.
I must not fail to mention the role played by the Governor of Rivers Stateand the PDP Governorship Candidate in the State, Governor NyesomEzenwoWike during the collation process at the ObioAkpor Local Government Council Secretariat. The Governor stormed the collation center with his army of thugs numbering over 200 fully armed with AK-47 assault rifles and over powered the security official that were posted to the collation center to provide security and carted away ALL the electoral materials including both original copies of unit result sheets and ward collation sheets that were being used for the collation of results by the electoral official and took them to the Rivers State Government House where they were filled out with over inflated figures. The Army Captain and other military officers that were shot in the process are still in critical conditions at the Military hospital, Port Harcourt where they are receiving medical treatments.
It should be noted that during the National Assembly rerun election in Rivers State in 2016, Governor Wike stormed the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre at the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council secretariat Port Harcourt in the same manner he stormed the ObioAkpor Local Government Collation Centre yesterday the 9th dayof March, 2019 and forced the Senatorial Collation Officer to declare Sen. George Thompson Sekibo as the winner at gunpoint
At the Emohua Local Government Area the Electoral officer absconded with ALL the sensitive election materials and ran to the INEC Head of Offices in Port Harcourt pleading insecurity while the atmosphere was calm at the INEC office in Emohua.
Obio/Akpor and Emohua Local Government Areas perhaps were the only 2 Local Government Areas that the collation process were disrupted. The said disruptions were caused by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party himself. Suspending the said election on the ground of violence will amount to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party benefiting from his own wrong.
In the light of the forgoing facts, I make the following demands:
- That the results already declared at the aforesaid Local Government collation centres should be accepted;
- That INEC should declare me Engr. AwaraBiokpomaboof the African Action Congress (AAC), the winner of the 09-03-2019 Governorship election in the state;
iii. The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Mr. Oboe Efaga should be immediately redeployed for gross incompetence. The said State Resident Electoral Commissioner has not been able to conclude any election in Rivers State since he took over the office. The PHALGA Constituency 111 State Assembly election is a case in point.
Thank very much.