Rivers Re-run Elections
… Insists On Independent INEC
The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has observed that as the coast becomes clearer for the conduct of the Rivers National and State Assemblies re-run elections, which have been rescheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for July 30, 2016, it is obvious that the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for the Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Mr. Magnus Abe, is not ready for the exercise following his expressed fears of losing in the contest.
The PDP chairman in Rivers State, Bro Felix Obuah, referring to a statement credited to Mr. Abe, dated July 3, 2016, in which he declared that he does not believe there would be an election in the State, criticized such position and indeed body language of the aspiring Senator, wondering why he (Abe) would think that he can dictate to the Commission what to do and who to conduct the election.
Mr. Abe had in his statement issued in Port Harcourt alleged that the present INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers State, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak, would not be fair, maybe playing his biding, a position that raises some questions on the real intention and expectation of Mr. Abe, who during the previous exercise on March 19, was comfortable with the same man he is calling for his head today.
The Rivers PDP chairman, Bro Felix Obuah clearly sees Mr. Abe’s latest call for the change of INEC State REC as a clear demonstration of his fears of losing at the election, and would want to do everything possible, including blackmailing the system, to enhance his chances of at least securing some votes, as it is obvious that the people of that senatorial district have made their decision on who to vote for, favouring the PDP and its candidate, Senator Olaka Nwogu.
For us, Mr. Abe’s position on whether he would contest or not is not an issue, but it would be wrong if one drowning man is allowed to dictate and hand-twist a supposedly independent umpire like the INEC. A wrong precedence should therefore, not be set, and that’s the reason we remain resolute that only the right and proper thing be done.
Again, it is also instructive that following Mr. Abe’s apprehension, the APC could urgently explore any available means in substituting him with a more courageous candidate and someone that is ready to contest in the elections.
Our argument, the PDP explains, is based on the already stated fact by Mr. Abe in his statement that the decision to participate in the election is entirely that of the party, not the individual. “I do not however mean to pull out of the elections except directed by the party…. It is the party that contests election. So, that is something for the party to decide,” Magnus Abe had said.
We therefore, call on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and other relevant government agencies not to be swayed by Mr. Abe’s seeming threat, but to ensure the election is conducted freely, fairly and peacefully.
As a party, we are following up events and would continue to be responsible in our electioneering activities, but would resist to be cowed by any action considered undemocratic and illegal.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity
To the Rivers PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah