APC, PDP bicker over suspended Rivers poll


The All Progressives Congress (APC) has applauded Rivers State electorate for bravely defending their votes despite the violence and snatching of electoral materials at last Saturday’s by-election.
The APC, in a statement by Mr Yekini Nabena, its National Publicity Secretary, on Sunday in Abuja, however, alleged that the violence was perpetrated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Nigerians will recall how the PDP speaking through its national spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, last Tuesday vowed to deploy all means, schemes, shenanigans in all ramification and magnitude to rig all coming election.
“While we condemn the PDP-sponsored violence and failed attempt to rig the by-election, the APC calls on the Rivers state electorate and indeed all Nigerians to continue to stand their ground,”the statement said.
It also called on the electorates to resist any attempt to rig elections in the country, saying that votes must count and that people’s will must prevail in all elections.
The statement called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and relevant security agencies to deal anyone involved in rigging in the forthcoming general election.
The  by-election to fill the vacant positions in the Port Harcourt State Constituency III had been suspended by INEC, following cases of violence and electoral malpractice that characterised the exercise.
Mr Obo Effanga, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, who announced the suspension on Saturday night, cited widespread violence as reasons.
The by-election was conducted by INEC to fill the vacancy left by Victor Ihunwo, now Chairman, Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
Effanga stated that because the exercise was marred by widespread violence, it was suspended in accordance with Section 26 of the Electoral Act 2010.
“INEC has decided to suspend the election forthwith,’’ he had said.
Meanwhile, the PDP, in a statement by the state chairman, Felix A. Obuah, accused the Ojukaye Flagg–Amachree faction of APC of violently disrupting the bye-election.
The statement reads: The Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has accused the faction of the All Progressives Congress led by Mr. Ojukaye Flagg –Amachree of violently disrupting the bye-election into Port Harcourt State Constituency 3 scheduled today by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 
The Party condemned the activities of the APC faction which used armed bandit to cart away electoral materials including result sheets. The violent activities were massively and openly aided by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police in  Rivers State.
The Party, however, commended the INEC for the suspension of the entire exercise following the large scale violence visited on the constituency by these hoodlums and anti-democratic forces with their collaborators in SARS and other security outfits.
The PDP also commended its members from the Port Harcourt State Constituency 3 for their maturity, restraint and peaceful conduct which would have resulted in threat to public peace. The party warned that it shall no longer tolerate again such wanton disruption of a democratic exercise and that the restraint by its members and supporters should not be misconstrued as an act of cowardice or sign of weakness, as no person or group has monopoly of violence. The PDP has sufficient capacity to contain such lawless act and would use all legally availablemeans to protect its members and the electorate from wanton molestation and naked exhibition of electoral violence.
The party warned the APC faction led by Mr. Ojukaye Flagg-Amachree that elections can never be won by guns, bullets and physical brutality. Rather, the people must be allowed to exercise their freedom of choice as to who represents them through the ballot box.
The PDP called on all security agencies to maintain absolute neutrality in their participation in future elections in order to save democracy.
The party stated that there is sufficient evidence of the ignoble roles played by these enemies of democracy and their collaborators. It expressed fear and palpable concern that the mayhem of the APC faction in the State is a pointer to the evil agenda for the 2019 elections in Nigeria which APC knows it cannot freely win. Resort to violence does not guarantee electoral victory.  It urged security agencies to thoroughly investigate the matter and punish the perpetrators to act as deterrent.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.