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ALLEGED PLOT AGAINST RIVERS PDP: ACN REPLIES AMAECHI

By NBF News
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The Rivers State chapter of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has denied allegation that its supporters plan to unleash mayhem on the day of the governorship election in the State.

Also, ahead of next week's gubernatorial and state assembly elections, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, to remove the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak.

The Director General of Governor Amaechi's re-election campaign committee, Chief Ezebunwo Wike, had alleged that the ACN and the APGA had concluded plans to cause violence and eliminate some PDP chieftains in the state as part of a grand plan to disrupt the April 26 elections.

But in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Jerry Needam, the ACN said the allegations were 'inciting and dangerous pronouncements' by the PDP, 'to disparage our dear party so as to win the sympathy of Rivers people in the April 26 governorship and House of Assembly elections.' The opposition party denied the allegation and described Wike's utterances as, 'revealing his inner mind when he is crying wolf' adding that it might be a disguised plot to scuttle the elections.

'The use of violence or any other dangerous means to prosecute our legitimate right is totally alien to ACN and we hereby dismiss Nyesom's allegations as a figment of his own imagination or, at best, the plot of PDP'.

Like the PDP, the ACN also urged security agencies to investigate the allegations. The party accused the REC of inability to discharge his responsibility with the degree of neutrality demanded by the office.

In a petition addressed to the INEC chairman, signed by its state chairman, Mr. Uche Okwukwu, the party accused Ikoiwak of compromising his position during the National Assembly elections held on April 9, 2011, alleging that electoral offences were committed against the ACN by its opponent with the connivance of the REC.

Okwukwu said it was the REC, who supervised and coordinated the action that led to the loss suffered by his party in the said election.

To worsen the matter, the ACN said in the petition, which was made available to journalists in Abuja, the REC had turned a deaf ear to all complaints it made to him, choosing either to ignore them or treat them with levity.

Okwukwu stated that in about six local government areas, voters' registers were conspicuously missing, incomplete or replaced with 'manipulated copies' to favour the party in power in the state to the consternation of the voters.

As a result, he said, thousands of voters were denied the right to exercise their franchise during the election.

The petitioners, therefore, asked the INEC chairman to redeploy Mr. Ikoiwak before the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections on April 26, 2011.

He insisted that the REC had lost the confidence of both the electorate and opposition parties in the state, maintaining that the ACN would not be comfortable in a poll organised by Ikoiwak.