Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Rivers South East Senatorial District in the legislative re-run elections, has expressed reservation on the activities of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State to conduct a free and fair election.
Speaking at a press briefing in Port Harcourt, Abe said that INEC had been conducting its activities to the knowledge of Governor Nyesom Wike and the PDP.
He revealed that Collation and Returning Officers were being trained at an obscure hotel in Umuahia, Abia State.
“We are becoming very concerned about the activities and linkages that we are seeing between the PDP and the INEC. We just received a report this evening that the INEC Collation and returning officers were being trained at the Dangreet Hotel in Umuahia in Abia state and from our knowledge of the operations of INEC, no training of officers has ever been conducted in any obscure hotel in this country. Training of officers is always done in the universities where the officers are being picked from and from that university they are taken straight to the state where they are to do their job. But to hear now that collation and returning officers were being trained at the Dangreet Hotel, Umuahia in the presence of PDP agents when our own agents were not informed or aware of it. It certainly calls for concern and we believe that in this exercise INEC should not only be fair but be seen by all Nigerians to be fair. We are very concerned because of the relationship that exists between some of the key actors in this whole thing and some of the key players in the INEC structure. We think that all Nigerians must be vigilant as far as this Rivers re-run election is concerned and that all the parties should be evenly and fairly treated”.
Abe said that another case in point was the December 10 election date, which INEC discussed with Gov. Wike, who he stated was an interested party, adding that it was the governor who announced the date as December 10 for the re-run elections before INEC did.
“I have had cause to tell Nigerians that this date December 10 was fixed at a meeting between Gov. Wike and INEC to which we were not privy, involved and consulted. The first person that made the date 10th of December public to the Nigerian people was Gov. Nyesom Wike, when he announced that now INEC had said that this election will hold on the 10th and we will see how that will work”.
PARRY SAROH BENSON
Spokesperson to Senator Magnus Abe
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