Rivers to assist families of residents killed during 2019 general election

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, commended the Nigerian Police and Department of Security Services for their professional conducts during the just concluded gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections.

Wike also berated the Nigerian Army for its unprofessional conducts.

Wike during the presentation of certificates of return to him, his deputy and members of the state house of assembly members by the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission for Bayelsa, Edo and Rivers, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu said: “The duty of the Army is not to take over INEC office and carry out Collation.

“We saw the Army take over INEC functions and that of the police. Go to Bori camp, you will see INEC materials. Is it where it is supposed to be. But for God, we wouldn’t have been here. All powers came, but God intervened and that’s why we are here”,

Wike also dedicated the certificate of return to Rivers people saying: “Today, I dedicate this victory to the people of Rivers State. I also dedicate this victory to those killed by the Nigerian Army in defence of votes and democracy.

“But for their sacrifice, we would not be here.”

He said that his second term will witness more projects but, however, urged INEC to take steps to investigate why Rivers State is only violent during elections.

Wike advised the Commission to work towards the prosecute the F-SARs Commander indicted for violence during the 2016 Rerun Elections.

He said the same F-SARs Commander killed a Chartered Accountant who served as PDP Collation Agent and must be brought to Justice.

He also said that as a matter of State Policy, the Rivers State Government will take steps to assist families of those who were victims of election violence. He said should INEC and the Army permit, Rivers State Government will also reach to their staff affected by the violence.

Obo Effanga, the resident electoral commissioner of INEC in Rivers State noted that despite pressures and attacks, INEC conducted credible elections in line with extant laws.

He said: “For us in INEC Rivers State, we stayed focused on conducting a transparent, free , fair and credible election. As I kept promising, on behalf of my team, we were bound by the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, other laws and guidelines for the elections. We were further bound by the pronouncements and decisions of courts.

“The Present INEC by its conduct, helped to break away from the negative narrative of violence tainted victories or elections and results that have limited input and participation of the voters. We can say and confidently too, that many voters in the State had access to polling units and indeed exercised their rights to vote in peace in this election than in previous elections “.

Effanga said that if the momentum is sustained, Rivers State will no longer be a flashpoint of violence during elections.


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