Rivers guber twist: INEC set to declare Wike winner

Kelechi Esogwa-Amadi

There are feelers that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will end up announcing the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last Saturday’s governorship election in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, as winner of the exercise in what could be described as the post-election twist of the century.
Nyesom Wike is the incumbent governor of Rivers State. He is seeking for re-election to rule Rivers State for another term of four years to complete an eight-year tenure.
But results announced so far from seven local government areas showed that the governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Biokpomabo Awara, was leading with a wide margine before the election was suspended by INEC.
As at the time of filing in this report, the result of the governorship election has not been announced by INEC.
A fact-finding committee set up to look into the alleged disturbances characterizing the exercise for which the result was suspended was yet to conclude its work.
However, sources revealed to TPCN that INEC is under pressure from many influential Nigerians to lift the suspension and announce the remaining results in favour of the incumbent governor and candidate of the PDP, Chief Nyesom Wike.
According to our sources, the main reason being adduced by those pressurizing INEC to declare Wike winner of the election is that it will ensure the reign of peace and security of lives and property of innocent citizens of Rivers State, warning that anything to the contrary will usher in anarchy and chaos in the oil-rich State.
The sources revealed that some members of the National Peace Committee, which is headed by former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, are among those expressing fear of possible insecurity, violence, lawlessness, loss of lives and property in Rivers State should Wike be prevented from going for a second term.
One of the sources explained: “Do not be surprised that INEC will end up declaring Chief Nyesom Wike as the winner of last Saturday’s election. The fact is that there is too much pressure on INEC right now to declare Governor Wike the winner and this pressure is coming from notable Nigerians at home and abroad.
“They are warning INEC to avoid plunging the state into further crisis and violence which they claim could happen if they don’t declare the result.
“Some members of the National Peace Committee are said to be among those warning INEC not to plunge Rivers into crisis and violence. Some influential Nigerians, especially Ikwerre indigenes abroad, are also among those pressurizing INEC to announce the results in Wike’s favour. As it is now, INEC is considering announcing the result and it may now be in favour of Wike. But what I don’t know is how they are going to do it because the results already announced showed that the AAC governorship candidate was leading.”
Efforts by TPCN to reach INEC for reaction to this alleged new development were not fruitful. However, investigations are still ongoing.