SAN FRANCISCO, December 04, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has condemned Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike over his comment about the Commission which it described as ‘dangerous, provocative and capable of inciting people to commit violence.’
Wike had alleged that the list of ad-hoc staff, for the December 10 rerun elections, released by INEC was dominated by ward Chairmen and ward Secretaries of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
But in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Commission, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the commission condemned the governor and appealed to stakeholders to refrain from making pronouncements that could either overheat the state or instigate their followers to violence.
“The Commission condemns, in very strong terms, the relentless false allegations, provocative and dangerous comments being made by some political actors, especially the Governor of River State, Mr. Nyesom Wike against the Commission, all of which are capable of inciting people to commit violent acts that could derail the election,” the statement read.
“We appeal to stakeholders to henceforth refrain from making pronouncements that could either overheat the state or instigate their followers to violence. We also appeal to all the political parties and their supporters to abide by all the extant laws governing the electoral process.
“We wish to reassure all Nigerians that the Commission will remain impartial and committed to conducting credible, fair and transparent elections at all times.
“The Commission hereby restates its determination to conclude the elections in Rivers State in a free, fair, and transparent manner on the said Saturday, 10th December 2016.
“The recent Edo and Ondo governorship elections eloquently speak of the feat that can be achieved if all stakeholders do the needful.”
THEWILL recalls that INEC choose Saturday 10th December 2016 in obedience to court orders resulting from disputes over the 2015 General Elections wherein re-run elections were conducted on 19th March, 2016, to fill various seats in the National and Rivers state House of Assembly but was suspended due to outbreak of violence.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has revealed that the police will deploy 20, 000 officers, three helicopters and 20 gun-boats to ensure hitch-free election in the re-run election.
He revealed that the gun boats were necessary to help ensure peace and order at the water-ways during the exercise declaring that the Police will replicate the efforts they put in that created atmosphere for peaceful election in Ondo state.
Story by Oputah David