By Okee Sydney-Obiukwu, Editor-in-Chief
In this exclusive interview with Prince Peter Odike, the gigantic but genial All progressives Congress (APC) Vice Chairman in Rivers State, he alleges that the recent national and state assembly elections in the perennially turbulent state; was fraught with many irregularities, worsened by the meddlesomeness of the state Governor Nyeson Wike. He therefore called on the Federal Government to set up a high powered inquiry to unravel these untoward acts, perpetrated during the elections, to forestall a re-occurrence.
Sir, can you assess the last Rivers State legislative elections.
As far as I am concerned, we had a peaceful election, in some Local Government Areas (LGAs) like Gokana, Kana, as well as in Eleme. We also had peaceful elections in Ikwere and Emohua LGAs, but somewhere along the line, the Rivers State Governor Mr. Nyesom Wike, in desperation to ensure that his party- the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidates; emerged in all Ikwere speaking LGAs of the state, decided to play a spoilers game, by forcefully using fake special Ant-robbery Squad(SARS) to beat up the agents of APC at the Port Harcourt City LGA. And a Returning Officer was forced to announce a an inconclusive election result and so the PDP candidate from Rivers East, George Sekibo, was pronounced as the duly elected Senator, while in fact, the result of Emohua LGA in that senatorial district, had not been collated, likewise Etche LGA had also not been collated. Under such situation, how could we, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, accept such a result? Much as we are concerned with that result so declared, we see it as a nullity. Even in Andoni /Opobo LGA, there was a lot of anomalies, which also led to the declaration of House of Reps and State Assembly candidates of PDP as winners, when actually they were not supposed to be declared winners, at all. By these unfortunate actions of the governor, Rivers state could not be assumed as a state that investors could come in and feel safe. I only pray that this untoward attitude would not continue, so that we don’t have a breakdown of law and order in any future election in the state.
Are you also indirectly indicting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)?
Yes! Some of the INEC officials acted in a manner that led to these anomalies, in the elections.
So are you then calling for the cancellation of the elections results?
I am honestly of the view that the federal Government should set up a high powered inquiry into the activities of these INEC officials, who perpetrated these unfortunate acts and also fish out the fake policemen who beat up our agents in the elections, so that we can nip these dastardly acts in the bud.