As the guber elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom State draw near, there have been allegations that the APC is doing all in its power to rig the election. Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government working in liaison with security agencies plan to disrupt 2019 governorship elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
He stated that the motive is to mobilise the Federal Government’s alleged rigging security apparatus from all other states to the two states on a later date for the manipulation of the two strategic governorship elections.
Wike, who spoke when the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Robert Petri, visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt, urged the European Union to pay closer attention to the two elections.
The governor said: “When I raised an alarm that the Federal Government is plotting to plant 800 guns in Rivers State to destabilise the state, it is the truth. It is real.
“The Federal Government working with the security agencies is planning to disrupt the 2019 governorship elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. They want to ensure that the elections don’t hold with other states, so that they can mobilise security agencies to manipulate the results.”
He noted that the international community must work with Nigerians to ensure that what happened in Osun State is not repeated in the Niger Delta.
Wike stated that if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Police can allow 55 percent free and fair elections, Nigerians will be happy.
The governor said: “As members of the European Union, we want you to use your position to prevail on INEC and security agencies to allow the will of the people.
“Manipulating the electoral process is corruption. This administration claims that it is fighting corruption, but that is not true. When a PDP member defects, the issue of corruption against him ends.”
He stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the amended Electoral Act because the members of the ruling party have ulterior motive.
On the clean up of Ogoni, Governor Wike regretted that the APC Federal Government has politicised the exercise, which is only thrown up during elections.
In his remarks, the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Robert Petri assured that the European Union will closely monitor the forthcoming elections to ensure they are credible.
Petri: “We are getting closer to the General Elections which are very important . We need free and fair elections conducted under a peaceful environment.
“The European Union, which we are part of, will be sending monitors for the Presidential and Governorship Elections. It is important that the elections are conducted in a friendly environment.”
He said that the Government of Netherlands is happy that the clean up of Ogoni land
Election shift: I’m deeply disappointed with INEC —Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep disappointment over the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The President lamented that, despite giving all the necessary support to the electoral umpire, the exercise was postponed just hours to voting and after Nigerians had taken the pains to travel to vote.
“I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission postponed the presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement,” Buhari said in a statement he signed on Saturday morning in Daura, Katsina State.
However, he asked INEC to ensure the safety of election materials already distributed and appealed to Nigerians to remain law abiding.
Buhari also stated that he had decided to relocate to Abuja from Daura to ensure that the meeting INEC called to hold with stakeholders was successfully.
His statement reads further, “We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.
“While I reaffirm my strong commitment to the independence, neutrality of the electoral umpire and the sanctity of the electoral process and ballot, I urge all political stakeholders and Nigerians to continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment in our democratic journey.
“I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from all civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development.”
Source: Punch Newspaper
President Buhari’s statement on postponement of elections by INEC
STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT BUHARI ON THE POSTPONEMENT OF GENERAL ELECTIONS BY INEC
I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement.
Many Nigerians have traveled to various locations to exercise their right to vote, and international observers are gathered.
INEC themselves have given assurances, day after day and almost hour after hour that they are in complete readiness for the elections. We and all our citizens believed them.
This administration has ensured that we do not interfere in any way with the work of INEC except to ensure that all funds were released to the commission.
We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.
While I reaffirm my strong commitment to the independence, neutrality of the electoral umpire and the sanctity of the electoral process and ballot, I urge all political stakeholders and Nigerians to continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment in our democratic journey.
I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from all civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development.
I have decided to move back to Abuja to ensure that the 14.00 hrs meeting called by INEC with all stakeholders is successful.
Daura, February 16, 2019
Election postponement: I’m disappointed….Balarabe Musa
Former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, on Saturday expressed disappointment over the postponement of the general elections, but declared that INEC was never prepared for the exercise in the first place.
INEC had announced the postponement a few hours to the kickoff of the February 16 presidential and National Assembly polls.
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while announcing the postponement in Abuja, attributed the step to “overwhelming logistics and operational challenges.”
The Commission fixed February 23 and March 9 as new dates for the presidential and National Assembly elections; and the governorship and state Assembly polls respectively.
But Musa, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Saturday, said he was disappointed, but not surprised, at the development.
“I am not surprised because INEC was never ready for the exercise, given the level of its preparations.
“INEC had serious funding challenges; what was appropriated to the Commission by the National Assembly was not adequate and everyone knew it.
“We are not even sure if the approved amount was released to the electoral body by the Federal Government.
“The logistics and operational challenges are glaring. There are also serious security challenges that may affect the agency in the course of the elections.
“The security services are facing the same funding crises and most of them are living in fear.
“You can also see the serious challenges being faced by the Judiciary, who are supposed to play a major role in the election process,” Musa said.
“So, I must say that I am disappointed; but, again, as I said, I am not surprised. I hope that all the stakeholders will take the necessary measures to help INEC address the issues before February 23, the new date for the presidential polls, because the President can only hand over power to an elected person.”
Musa called on Nigerians to remain calm as they prepare towards the new dates for the polls.
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