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Women protest to INEC office in Rivers State

Prof Charles Adias, Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa, the INEC State Collation Officer for Rivers State in the February 25 Presidential, NASS elections

Some women peaceful protesters besieged the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Wednesday, displaying placards with different messages calling on the electoral umpire to ensure conduct of a free, fair and transparent election in the state.

Some of the messages on the placards say “INEC, DO THE RIGHT THING FOR ONCE,” “INEC, RIVERS STATE IS NOT FOR SALE,” “INEC DON’T ALTER OUR VOTES,” and “INEC WE ARE WATCHING.”

The last Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state are said to have been marred by widespread irregularities, especially disenfranchisement of voters and alleged falsification of results believed to have been orchestrated by the state Governor, Nyesom Wike.

The Governorship and State Assembly elections are taking place this Saturday, March 18, 2023, and many are already speculating that the state would be a flashpoint, especially as the rivalry between the State Governor, Nyesom Wike and the immediate past Minister of Transportation and one-time Governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi is expected to snowball into violent clashes between their supporters.

On the other hand, is the Labour Party (LP) which claims it won the last election in the state but was rigged out by the combination of INEC officials and state government agents.

Presidential Candidate of LP, Mr. Peter Obi, said as much in a recent interview, where he said pointedly that Wike worked against his success in the last elections in Rivers State and that if it were not for the manipulation of the results, the Labour Party would have had more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the elections.

Eyes, not only of the women protesters, would, thus, be on INEC in Rivers State and on the State Government before, during and after Saturday’s polls.

 

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