The All Progressives Congress has applauded Rivers State electorate for bravely defending their votes despite the violence and snatching of electoral materials at last Saturday’s by-election.
The APC in a statement issued by Yekini Nabena, its National Publicity Secretary, on Sunday in Abuja, however, alleged that the violence was perpetrated by the Peoples Democratic Party.
The statement said: “Nigerians will recall how the PDP speaking through its national spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan last Tuesday vowed to deploy all means, schemes, shenanigans in all ramification and magnitude to rig all coming election.
“While we condemn the PDP-sponsored violence and failed attempt to rig the by-election, the APC calls on the Rivers state electorate and indeed all Nigerians to continue to stand their ground.”
It also called on the electorates to resist any attempt to rig elections in the country, saying that votes must count and that people’s will must prevail in all elections.
The statement called on the Independent National Electoral Commission and relevant security agencies to deal anyone involved in rigging in the forthcoming general election.
The by-election to fill the vacant positions in the Port Harcourt State Constituency III had been suspended by INEC, following cases of violence and electoral malpractice that characterised the exercise.
Obo Effanga, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers, who announced the suspension on Saturday night, cited widespread violence as reasons.
The by-election was conducted by INEC to fill the vacancy left by Victor Ihunwo, now Chairman, Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
Effanga stated that because the exercise was marred by widespread violence, it was suspended in accordance with Section 26 of the Electoral Act 2010.
He said: “INEC has decided to suspend the election forthwith.’’