This Impunity In Rivers State Shall Not Stand
Being the text of a Joint press briefing by the Governorship Candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the All People's Grand Alliance, APGA, The Social Democratic Party, SDP, on the Governorship and House of Assembly candidates in Rivers State on the aftermath of the April 11, 2015 elections
Gentlemen of the press,
We are compelled by the events of yesterday Friday April 10 and today Saturday April 11, 2015 to call this joint press conference to share our thoughts as Governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and others who due to certain exigencies are unable to join us.
As you are already aware the April 11 Governorship and House of Assembly was fraught with violence and unbridled manipulation and intimidation by the Peoples' Democratic Party, the Independent National Electoral commission and security agencies. In most parts of Rivers state, elections didn't hold at all as violence was unleashed on Rivers people.
In Obga/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area there were at least five reported deaths, all of which were members of the APC. Those killed include,
- Obinna Ndubuoke
- Jeophat Kingdom
- Ndidi Ebere
- Sydney Wokocha
- Hon Clever Orukwowu (APC Youth Leader)
Among the injured are
- Evangelist Faith who was beaten to stupor at Dere in Andoni local Government Area. Her whereabouts are still unknown
- Mr Alifor Onyeso shot by armed thugs led Hon Kelechi Nwogu, PDP candidate Omuma for House of Assembly.
- Chimenem Wagu, shot by PDP thugs and still in critical condition in Omanwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area
- In Gokana Ward 4, Tambari Ngiah was kidnapped from his polling unit 005
- In Khana Ward 2, Richard Dee Kae was matcheted and is in critical condition
- In Khana Ward 15, Eric Gbobo was stabled.
- In Obio Akpor, ward 3, Rumuokwurusi, Emenihe Worgu was beaten up by PDP thugs and is laying in hospital
- Another APC stalwart, Kingsley Orlu was beaten up by over 10 PDP thugs.
- Solomon Orlu's leg was almost hacked into two.
- In Okrika Ward five Adiye Dikibo was injured in the right hand. It is doubtful that doctors will save the eye.
Elsewhere, disenfranchisement of voters, intimidation, harassment and outright manipulation of already announced results at the various units were the order of the day.
For instance 75 electoral officers were arrested by officers of the Mobile Police detachment 56 for thumb printing ballots for the PDP in the home of Dr Jacobson Ndina, in Sime, Tai local Government Area are still at the Criminal Investigation Bureau of the Rivers State Police command. They are evidence of the un-paralleled rigging of these elections. Thumb printing of ballots is also going on as we speak in the homes of Tom Orage, a former commissioner in Rivers State and at Ibuluya collation centre in Okrika.
In all parts of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local Government Area, all wards in Okrika, parts of Andoni such as Ikuru Town, Isiodum, Ward 8 in Tai LGA, Ogbakiri in Emuohua local Government Area and even in Akukutoru and Asari Toru Local Government Areas. In Asari Toru Local Government, there were gunshots and explosion of dynamite all through Friday night and well into Saturday. The mayhem was such that even the governorship candidate of APGA could not even be accredited.
Such High levels of violence and misconduct recorded in these areas leave us as bearers of our people's destiny with no choice other than to insist that the elections that held in Rivers State were an unfortunate sham; a gruesome episode enacted by forces which are in alliance to mortgage Rivers state and the future of our unborn children.
This election is a record breaker considering the gross irregularities and malfeasances that shaped its conduct. From start to finish, each segment was meant to be a failure, an embarrassment on the decency and decorum of Rivers people. Rivers people have a history of conduct of the highest standard, little wonder that the early Europeans found them compatible and worthy of eternal relationship. Ever since then, the Rivers man has been classified among the finest and most respected in the comity of people, and so, the Rivers man is expected to stand shoulders high above others in conduct and character. It was with such a measure that we went into the April 11 elections.
However, the story of the elections is one that leaves sour taste in the mouth of any sane person – from vicious attacks that lasted for all night and stretched into the election day proper, to wanton destruction of property and intimidation of our supporters; from outright snatching of electoral materials to ballot boxes-snatching perpetuated across the 23 local government areas of Rivers State to the killings in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoniand Asari Toru local government areas, respectively, we stand to assert that the elections have left us with questions more questions than answers.
It is therefore evident that any announcement of winners for these polls would be a travesty of justice and a rape of democracy. We insist that the purported Governorship and House of Assembly elections that held in Rivers today be cancelled in their totality and a new date set for us. We hope that INEC will enforce the rights of Rivers People to free, fair and credible elections by heeding to this clarion call.
Charles Harry - APGA
Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside - APC
Rev Minaibim Harry - SDP