The governorship candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, in Rivers state, Engr. Awara Biokpomabo, has rejected the suspension of the state’s results by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the Saturday’s governorship and state houses of assembly elections held in the state and other parts of the country
Biokpomabo, in a statement on Monday, said INEC has no right to stop his victory at the polls because, according to him, no provision of the electoral act permits the commission to suspend elections that have already been concluded. According to him, results from the areas that witnessed violence, a basis upon which INEC suspended the results’ announcements, had already been declared at the polling units and collation had begun before the abrupt suspension of the process. He said, based on the results already collated and declared from the polling units, that he was in clear lead and was coasting to victory, haven won over 15 local government areas. He listed the LGAs where he said results had already been collated and declared before INEC suspended the process.
According to the AAC candidate, “My Party, the African Action Congress (AAC) a duly registered Political Party fielded candidates for the Governorship, House of Representatives, Senate, and House of Assembly positions for the General Elections held on the 9th day of March, 2019. The aforesaid elections held as scheduled and proceeded up to collation stage in some Local Government Areas, and in some other Local Government Areas, results had already been collated and declared, before the Independent National Electoral Commission suspended the remaining stages of the election, which I was in clear lead and was coasting to victory. Some of the unit results announced at the polling units in the Local Government were collations were not concluded clearly before the suspension of the processes show that I won over 15 Local Government Areas. The INEC pleaded insecurity, violence, seizure of electoral materials by hoodlums etc. as the reasons for suspending the remaining stages of the Election. I reject the reason given by INEC.
This is because in the Local Government Areas that were affected, voting had concluded, results declared at the polling units and collation had begun before the abrupt suspension of the process. The Commission does not have the power under our Electoral Act to suspend elections that has already been concluded. My agents at the field reported to me that the results had already been declared in the under listed Local Government:
S/N LGA AAC PDP i.
PORT HARCOURT CITY LOCAL GOVERNMENT 11,866 42,190
AHOADA WEST 44,857 5,866
ELEME 27,712 4,436
ASARI-TORU 18,834 2,239
AKUKU TORU 57,815 5,696
IKWERRE 96,663 7,554
OYIGBO 32,026 8,652
TOTAL 289,773 76,633
The Local Government Areas collations were ongoing were: Opobo/Nkoro Abua/Odual iii. Okirika iiii. Ogu/Bolo Khana Degema vii. Tai viii. Obio/Akpor Gokana Bonny Ahoada East xii. Omuma xiii. Andoni xiiii. Etche Emohua xvi. Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni The suspension of the elections by INEC was done to give respite to candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was trailing behind, frustrate my victory.
My party went into these elections against an umpire dangerously skewed in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Resident Electoral Commission, all the Electoral Officers, Assistant Electoral Officers, Heads of Department in the Rivers, Offices of The Commission were all working for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. No wonder when they saw that I was leading and would eventually win the election, they raised a false alarm to the Headquarter of the Commission and misinformed them that there was widespread violence and seizure of electoral materials. We have on good authority the following facts: i.Every Local Government Council Chairman in Rivers State pays the sum of One Million Naira (N1,000,000) to the Electoral Officer assigned to his Local Government and other sums of money to other electoral personnel; ii.The Resident Electoral Commissioner was bought a house for in Maitama Area of Abuja by the Governor of Rivers State, who incidentally is the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); and iii.
The Administrative Secretary of the Rivers State office of the Commission was paid the sum of Three Hundred Million (N300,000,000) Naira as inducement to secure 100 percent posting of the Ad-hoc staff list in favour of the PDP. To justify the financial inducement given to him, the said Administrative Secretary did not only ensure that the posting of the Ad-hoc staff overtly favoured the PDP but he also got carried away to the extent that he even included the names of well known relatives of some PDP candidates and chieftains in the list.
On his part the State Resident Electoral Commisioner (REC) on the eve of the election replaced most of the ad-hoc workers which were already published on the Commission’s notice boards with the names of card carrying members of the PDP. For instance, in the following Local Government Areas, the under listed persons were suddenly deployed as Local Government Collation Officers: i.Emohua ——- Dr. Peter Medee a card carrying member of the PDP ii.Khana ——– Mr. Gbenekanu Ledornu who is both a card carrying member of the PDP and the younger brother of Dr. Barr Mpigi (a Senatorial Candidate of the PDP) was appointed Returning Officer for Khana LGA. The said Mr. Gbenekanu Ledornu has just completed course work on his Ph.D programme.
He is not yet a Lecturer not to talk of been a Senior Lecturer, yet Elder Etim John conniving with Mr. Oboe Efaga appointed him Returning Officer for Khana LGA. Iii.Tai: Prof. Patrick Mmon a card carrying member of PDP The said State Resident Electoral Commissioner has not been able to conclude any election in Rivers State since he took over the office. You will all recall that the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, after suspending the PHALGA Constituency 111 State House of Assembly rerun election, recklessly abandoned that election process since August 2018 until date. The AAC will not again allow the State Resident Electoral Commissioner Mr. Oboe Efaga and INEC to subvert a free and fair elections solely because it was obvious to them that their preferred candidate was losing the election.
It should be noted that during the National Assembly rerun election in Rivers State in 2016, Governor Wike stormed the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre at the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council secretariat Port Harcourt in the same manner he stormed the Obio Akpor Local Government Collation Centre yesterday the 9th day of March, 2019 and forced the Senatorial Collation Officer to declare Sen. George Thompson Sekibo as the winner. At the Emohua Local Government Area, the Electoral officer absconded with ALL the sensitive election materials and ran to the INEC Head of Offices in Port Harcourt, pleading insecurity while the atmosphere was calm at the INEC office in Emohua. Obio/Akpor and Emohua Local Government Areas perhaps were the only 2 Local Government
Areas that the collation process were disrupted. The said disruptions were caused by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party himself. Suspending the said election on the ground of violence will amount to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party benefiting from his own wrong. In the light of the forgoing facts, I make the following demands: i.That the results already declared at the aforesaid Local Government collation centres should be accepted; ii.That INEC should declare me Engr. Awara Biokpomabo of the African Action Congress (AAC), the winner of the 09-03-2019 Governorship election in the state; iii.The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Mr. Oboe Efaga should be immediately redeployed for gross incompetence. The said State Resident Electoral Commissioner has not been able to conclude any election in Rivers State since he took over the office. The PHALGA Constituency 111 State Assembly election is a case in point.”