Rigging Will Be Resisted,Wike Tells NEW INEC REC in Portharcourt

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that his administration will  support  the conduct of free and fair  legislative rerun  elections  by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the state.

The governor, however, stated that  that the people of the state  will resist any attempt  to rig the  forthcoming  rerun elections with the aim of subverting  the  will of the people.

Governor Wike  spoke on Friday  at the Government House, Port Harcourt when he granted audience  to the new Resident Electoral Commissioner  of INEC  in Rivers State,  Elder Ikoiwak Aniedi.

The governor  said: “You must have heard me say,  which some people  have taken  out of context. I want  to  repeat what I said. We will  support  anybody  that comes to conduct  free and fair elections. If anybody has at the  back of his mind that he is coming to do the bidding  of a particular political party or interest group or that he is coming to  the  state to impose candidates  on the state or rig election,  the people  will resist. Of course,  you know what that means.

“You have said it here that it is the duty of  the  people to elect their representatives.  It is not the duty of INEC and it is not the duty of security  agents  to impose candidates  on our State.  Your duty is to conduct  free and fair elections and we want to believe  that INEC will conduct free and fair elections “.

Speaking  further, Governor Wike said: “The ruling  party at the Federal level has boasted severally how they will use INEC and security agencies to manipulate the rerun elections. Don’t allow any security  agency to teleguide you because we have  told our people that everybody  should  be  firm, everybody should be  ready. We will not take any chances, we will  follow  materials bumper to bumper. We will make sure we have agents in all areas”.

The governor  urged INEC  to ensure  that  the  forthcoming rerun elections  in the state are conclusive.

Governor Wike called on the INEC  Resident Electoral Commissioner to seek the opinion  of  the commission’s  legal department on the  legal  implications  of the rerun elections  which will hold on 19th March, 2016, long after the three months stipulated in the  Electoral Act and the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

He said that the new Resident Electoral Commissioner is a man who understands  the  terrain of the state and has the capacity  to  conduct  free and  fair  elections.

Earlier,  the  Rivers State INEC Electoral Commissioner,  Elder Ikoiwak Aniedi said that he paid the courtesy  call to inform  Governor  Wike that rerun  elections  will hold in the state on 19th March for 3 Senatorial Districts,  12 Federal Constituencies and 22 State Constituencies.

Elder Aniedi  applied for the governor’s approval  for INEC to use state schools for the elections from March 18 to March  20, 2016.

He  assured  the people of  the state  that INEC  will conduct free and fair elections in line with  the law. He added that the commission  will work with security  agencies  to ensure peaceful  polls.


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