5 Rivers Guber candidates bicker with PDP over rigging plots

In Rivers, five governorship candidates accused the INEC of a plot to rig the polls in favour of the PDP, an accusation the ruling party dismissed as unfounded.

The candidates, who raised the alarm were Tonye Cole of the APC, Sobomabo Jackrich of the National Rescue Movement, NRM; Dr Dawari George of the Action Alliance, AA; Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs of Accord, and Chief Tonte Ibraye of the African Democratic Congress, ADC.

The worried candidates in a joint statement saidthey were reliably informed that Governor Nyesom Wike, “has instructed all Local Government chairmen as chief security officers of their respective domain to carry out what he calls ‘Operation No Mercy’ on every other party agent.

“Council Chairmen are to ensure agents representing their parties’ interests do not have access to the Collation Centres. The PDP Government of Rivers has also assured INEC officials of their safety provided they comply with PDP agents to manipulate the process before taking it out to the State Collation Centre.”

In view of the foregoing, the five candidates urged the “INEC and every relevant authority to stop all government officials from accessing the collation centres in accordance with Section 43(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, prohibiting government officials from acting or serving as agents to political parties at elections.

“INEC and relevant security authorities should restrict movement of all Rivers Government officials beginning with Governor Wike down to the chairmen of councils. INEC should ensure all categories of officials prohibited by the Electoral Act stay away from the Collation Centres as their presence will compromise the process.

“That only persons who are party agents according to law and designated INEC officials should have access to the Collation Centres at the Ward, LGA and State levels and only party agents allowed access to the collation centers.”

Rivers PDP reacts

The PDP, in a response, a principal official of the Rivers PDP Campaign Council, said:”By the tone of the allegation, it is a clear case of giving a dog a bad name to hang it.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said: “Five candidates woke up to say INEC wants to rig elections for PDP. How? By what is the proof? It is so unfounded. Anybody can raise such baseless allegations. We know why the morbid fear. None of them stands a chance against Sim Fubara.

“Aside being most qualified, Fubara is riding on the platform of a Rivers PDP that has done so well under Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration. Again they will emerge sore losers on Saturday.”

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