The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to relocate the collation centre for the governorship election from Hotel Presidential to an undisclosed location.
It also said the commission planned to do so at the behest of African Action Congress, AAC, and some forces.
Felix Obuah, the State chairman of the party, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, said the party had it on good authority that INEC was acceding to the demands of a political party and some powerful persons.
Consequently, he cautioned the commission not to allow itself to be used to ignite a constitutional crisis in the state. Reacting to the allegation, INEC dismissed the claims.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the INEC Chairman, who reacted on behalf of INEC said: “I can tell you categorically that there is no truth in that claim.
INEC collation centre in Rivers will not be moved. Please disregard the rumour.” Meanwhile, INEC has assured that it is going ahead with the planned collation of results on April 2.
Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, who said this while reacting to a petition by the AAC, said it would not stop the collation in line with the party’s request.
He declared that political parties lacked the power to stop INEC from performing its constitutional responsibility.
He said: “No party or individual can stop us from carrying out our constitutional responsibility. We would commence collation of election results.
We are going ahead with that. Our advice to all the parties is to work with INEC to conclude the exercise.” AAC governorship candidate in the state, Biokpomabo Awara, had told journalists in Abuja last Tuesday that he had submitted a petition to INEC demanding the stoppage of the collation of the governorship election results as scheduled.
Rather than go ahead with the collation of the results, he urged INEC to conduct a fresh governorship election in Rivers.
Meanwhile, members of 85 political parties on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, marched through the streets of Port Harcourt, celebrating what they described as the re-election of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
They urged INEC to diligently conclude the collation and announce the results.
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