Rivers State government has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conclude the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state by immediately announcing the results of the polls based on the figures already collated at the polling units.
This is as the INEC has assured that its decision on the Rivers state elections would be taken and announced between now and next week, latest.
Commissioner of Information of Rivers State, Barrister Emma Okah, told Global Patriot Newspapers, GPNews, Thursday, that the results collated at the polling units are intact and ought to be the basis for the final results to be released.
Soldiers reportedly stormed some local government collation centers and the state collation center and disrupted the final collation and announcement of results of the elections.
Foreign observers of the elections in the country confirmed that soldiers took over the state collation center and barred them from observing what was being done.
The European Union, EU, Chief Observer, Maria Arena, and the Deputy Chief Observer, Hannah Roberts, who addressed the media at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja after the State Elections had stated categorically that “Observers, including EU observers, were denied access to collation centres in Rivers.”
Though the military has reacted angrily to the allegations of interference by its personnel in the polls in Rivers State, claiming that some politicians armed and provided uniforms for thugs to impersonate them and cause chaos, evident involvement of the military in the polls, in instances accompanied by gunfire and killing of party faithful and intimidation of INEC officials caused the chaos that led to the discontinuation of the collation exercise at the state level.
Okah said that the actions of the military in the Rivers State election were condemnable and that they must be cautioned and withdrawn from any involvement in future elections, stressing that the Army should not dictate the outcome of elections anywhere.
INEC, which confirmed to GPNews, Thursday, that it sent a fact-finding team to Rivers State, said that the team has returned to Abuja and turned in its report.
According to Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the INEC Chairman, a decision on the report of the team would taken and announced “between this week and next week, maximum.”
Following the disqualification of the candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, by the courts, the elections had been seen as a walk over for incumbent Governor, Nyesom Wike and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, state House of Assembly candidates till Transportation Minister and immediate past governor of the state, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, who is the leader of the APC in the state, on the eve of the state elections announced his support for the candidates of the African Action Congress, AAC, a party that was hitherto, literally, unknown in the state.