Eighty-eight political parties which participated in the 2019 General Elections in Rivers State have expressed disgust over calls by a few card-carrying members of the All Progressives Congress working with the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, urging President Muhammadu Buhari amongst others to transfer officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission that conducted the elections in the State.
Under the auspices of Rivers State Inter-Party Advisory Council, the political parties at a press conference in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday, expressed shock and embarrassment by a letter to the President by the once-respected Rivers elders whom they alleged have been compromised by the Amaechi faction of the APC in the State.
In the text of the press conference, which was read by its Chairman in the State, Sir Precious Baridoo, IPAC named the pro-APC elders as former Governor Rufus Ada-George, Ambassador C. D. Orike, Alabo Graham-Douglas, Prof. D.M.J. Fubara and retired Group Captain Ben-Kalio among others, reiterating that their views do not represent the views of the respected elders and opinion leaders of the State.
“Indeed, it is embarrassing that the pro-APC elders and lackeys of the Minister of Transportation are threatening violence on the State. How could these elders place partisan and monetary considerations above the interest of the State? At this age in their lives, they should be conscientious enough to repudiate the ignoble schemes, treachery and shenanigans of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi,” IPAC declared.
The full text of the press conference:
“The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Rivers State is shocked and embarrassed by calls by some compromised pro-APC Elders convened by the desperate Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for President Muhammadu Buhari to interfere in the Rivers State Governorship Election Collation Process with a view to subverting the will of Rivers people.
“We have Information that these Pro-APC Elders have written to the President, demanding that the President should intervene in the Rivers State Governorship Election Collation Process, halt same and create the atmosphere to disable INEC from concluding the elections in the State.
“IPAC Rivers State views the letter of this Elders to the President as devilish, wicked and an affront to the good people of Rivers State who overwhelmingly voted for the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of the PDP on March 9, 2019. It is unfortunate that these Pro-APC Elders would allow themselves to be used by the desperate Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who is bent on imposing his stooge on Rivers State as Governor.
“As elders and stakeholders, we expected these Pro-APC elements to drop their political affiliations and face the reality of the time. We expected them to embrace the choice of Rivers people, rather than dance to the satanic tunes of the Minister of Transportation.
“These Pro-APC Elders sponsored by the Minister of Transportation cannot claim ignorance of the negative roles played by the Nigerian Army as they attempted to subvert the will of Rivers people during the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
“As acknowledged by the INEC’s Fact-Finding Committee, the general elections took place in majority of the polling units of Rivers State. Collation of results and declarations has already been made in majority of the State Constituencies and the PDP won in all these areas.
“This was in spite of the failed attempt of the AAC/APC alliance to use the army and F-SARS to subvert the will of Rivers people. It was a horrible and disgraceful sight to see Nigerian Army personnel captured on video at different Local Government Collation Centres, including Ogo/Bolo, Okrika, Port Harcourt, Khana, Eleme and Akuku-Toru marauding and attempting to snatch collated results. The most despicable of which, was the invasion of the State Governorship Collation Centre by the Army on March 10, 2019, which was broadcast on National Television to the entire world
“Instead of condemning the unnecessary militarization in a democracy and the manifest use of violence by the army in the State during the elections in our dear State, the Pro-APC Elders chose to exhibit selective amnesia.
“This last minute desperate correspondence by the Pro-APC Elders contracted by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is simply another vain attempt at subverting the conclusion of the Collation Process.
“Apart from the signatories, the content of the ignoble letter is similar to that of the March 19, 2019 Press Release by the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army. The International Community and INEC have since indicted soldiers for their illegal roles in attempting to subvert the will of Rivers people. Therefore, the lies contained in the Elders’ letter to Mr. President should be taken for what it is: politically motivated cooked-up bunkum unworthy of the paper it is written.
“We call on Mr. President to disregard the calls by these Pro-APC Elders to transfer the INEC officials that conducted the elections in Rivers State. This was the same call made by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi after he lost his polling unit at Ubima. It was the same request made by the sacked leadership of Rivers APC and their AAC allies. But they pretend to know that the election in Rivers State is a process, which cannot be truncated without right lies and frivolous allegations by misguided and partisan Elders.
“Indeed, it is embarrassing that the Pro-APC Elders and lackeys of the Minister of Transportation are threatening violence. How on earth would no less personalities like the former Governor of Rivers State, Chief Rufus Ada George, Ambassador CD Orike, Alabo Graham-Douglas, Prof DMJ Fubara and Rtd Group Captain Ben-Kalio place partisan and monetary considerations above the interest of Rivers State. At this age in their lives, they should be conscientious enough to repudiate the ignoble schemes, treachery and shenanigans of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“IPAC Rivers State further calls on the President not to take any step that will jeopardize the Collation and Declaration of Governorship Election Results in Rivers State. We have confidence in the INEC Rivers State and they should be allowed to complete the process.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Rivers State have been concluded as announced by INEC in its Press Release. It is obvious from results in all the polling units that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has been re-elected. We are only waiting for the formal Collation and Declaration of the results as required by law.
“Consequently, the arm-twisting ploy of these Elders hired by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi will not work. The will of Rivers people will prevail. The AAC/APC/Army conspiracy is aware of this fact, hence the last minute desperation.
“We welcome the widely reported decision of Mr. President not to interfere with the electioneering process in any of the states where Governorship Elections is yet to be concluded. We urge the President to stick to his words and ignore these Elders who have become paid agents of the desperate Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“Rivers people have voted for their Governor and they have voted for their State Lawmakers. A few misguided old men acting on behalf of an anti-Rivers Minister cannot subvert the will of Rivers people.”