PDP alleges intimidation of collation officers

March 18, 2019
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THE local chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that security operatives attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were trying to intimidate electoral officers recalled to conclude the collation of results of the governorship election of March 9.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had ordered the resumption collation of the results after it suspended electoral processes in the state following widespread violence.

Details of the activities to conclude the process are to be released today by the electoral umpire.

The PDP alleged that SARS men, on the orders of its top officers in Rivers, had invited INEC officers, returning officers and ad hoc staff participating in the collation to threaten and intimidate them.

The Senator representing Rivers South-East District, Magnus Abe, said no one can handpick a governor for Rivers State.

According to Abe, “the right to do so rests squarely on the shoulders of Rivers people to freely choose who will lead them.”

Abe spoke at the funeral service of late Pa Macdonald Graham Harry, father of Dr. Ipalibo Harry, a Federal Commissioner at the National Population Commission (NPC), held at Saint Alban’s Anglican Church Obuama, Degema Local Government Area of the State.

He condemned the violence that characterised the March 9, 2019, governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the state, describing it as a shame.

The senator further said that the election was not only an embarrassment to the country, but unacceptable even as he wondered why people have failed to learn from the past.

He said: “All across the country, you could see that the people tried to vote. They also tried to count their votes, but in Rivers State, the reverse was the case, because it is obvious that we did not learn from what happened in the 2015 general elections and draw our lessons appropriately.

“I’ll like to appeal to Rivers people not to leave the future of our state in the hands of the politicians alone. This State belongs to all of us and no one man owns more or deserves more of Rivers State than others.

“I was very clear when I called on our supporters in the state to vote for a candidate of their choice in the governorship election and not to vote for the governorship candidate of African Action Congress (AAC) because it was an attempt to single-handedly handpick a governor for Rivers people and he cannot.

“That is the decision that all Rivers people have as a right to freely participate in a process to elect whoever will govern the state.”

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