By Andy Chukwu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Democratic Party (ADP) have proffered different ways of getting out of the stalemate over the Rivers State governorship and state assembly elections.
The PDP, through its National Working Committee (NWC) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conclude collation and declare results to bring the exercise to finality.
The ADP, on the other hand, is demanding fresh election in which they want INEC to ban the PDP and the African Action Congress (AAC) from participation.
Uche Secondus, PDP National Chairman, who led the party’s NWC on a solidarity visit to Governor Nyesom Wike, asked INEC to speedily conclude the process and announced the winner of the gubernatorial election.
“INEC Chairman should not to drag the country into crisis because of inconclusive elections. This manoeuvre is not good for the nation’s democracy.
”He should go ahead and conclude the process of elections in Rivers and Bauchi States. We should move ahead. Those aggrieved should approach the tribunal. We stand with Wike. We ask God Almighty to ensure he crosses this Red Sea,” he said.
Ibrahim Tsauri, National Secretary of the PDP, assured Wike that the party was with him and confident he will triumph at the end.
”We are here to identify with you. If we talk of PDP, Rivers is the first to be mentioned and you are the pillar of the party. We are confident justice will be done. God is with you and the people of Rivers are with you,” he said.
In response, Wike has said those struggling to stall conclusion of the Rivers governorship and assembly elections were enemies of the state.
“The Police is trying to intimidate Collation and Electoral Officers by inviting them for one offence or the other so as to impinge on the Collation Process.
“Imagine where police is inviting the entire Returning Officers and Electoral Officers because allegations have been made against INEC officials. This is just to let the entire world see what we are talking about.
“They (perceived enemies) go by this strategy, if it fails, they go by the other strategy. They brought the Army, it failed. They have gone to the court and now they want to use the police. “You see how funny it is. The candidate of AAC said he won the election. The same candidate has gone to court to stop Collation and seek for the cancellation of an election he claimed he won”
However, the ADP on its part speaking through Victor Fingesi, its gubernatorial candidate said INEC should not only prosecute those responsible for the lingering crisis but ban the offenders from further participation in the process.
“We are asking INEC as they are conducting investigation, not only to prosecute but to ban offending parties from further exercise INEC would recommend to resolve the electoral process in this state. This cannot be waived away as deterrent for future elections nationwide.
“ADP in Rivers is calling for the outright cancellation of the March 9 Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections. This election was marred by violence, vote buying, ballot box snatching, intimidation by the military, gangs and thugs. Our party and some others were prevented from all the collation centres from wards, local government and state levels.
“In so many polling units, only agents of the PDP and AAC, and the APC proxy were allowed to observe the calling of the results. We also note that our polling agents were not signatories to any document at the polling units and collation centers,” he said