The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp

ELECTION 2015 UPDATE: Thousands call for vote re-run in Nigeria’s Rivers state


An All Progressives Congress (APC) party supporter holds a sign as others march towards the Independent National Electoral Commission Office in Port Harcourt during a demonstration calling for the cancellation of the presidential election in the Rivers State on March 29, 2015. Thousands of supporters of Nigeria's main opposition party demonstrated in the southern state of Rivers, calling for the cancellation of elections locally because of alleged irregularities. AFP PHOTO / FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR

An All Progressives Congress (APC) party supporter holds a sign as others march towards the Independent National Electoral Commission Office in Port Harcourt during a demonstration calling for the cancellation of the presidential election in the Rivers State on March 29, 2015. Thousands of supporters of Nigeria’s main opposition party demonstrated in the southern state of Rivers, calling for the cancellation of elections locally because of alleged irregularities. AFP PHOTO / FLORIAN PLAUCHEUR

Thousands of supporters of Nigeria’s main opposition party on Sunday demonstrated in the oil-rich state of Rivers, calling for the cancellation of elections locally because of alleged irregularities.

The demonstrators from the All Progressives Congress (APC) converged on the local offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state capital, Port Harcourt.

“We are here to register our protest that there was no election in Rivers state yesterday (Saturday),” Rivers state governorship candidate Dakuku Peterside told the crowd.

Peterside alleged that APC supporters across the southern state were “disenfranchised by INEC, working in connivance with (the) PDP (Peoples Democratic Party)”.

Results sheets, which in Nigerian elections are given at every polling station to both party representatives and the local electoral commission after the count, were not provided, he alleged.

“INEC in collaboration with (the) Peoples Democratic Party hijacked the materials and were filling them in private homes for the PDP,” Peterside claimed.

“Since the results sheets were not available, we did not vote. If there was no voting, there is no way they can declare any result.”

Peterside called for the presidential and parliamentary election to be re-held in Rivers on a new date.

Rivers state in the oil-producing Delta is seen as a key battleground for the presidential election, in which APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari is fighting President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling PDP.

At the last election in 2011, the state was won by the PDP but governor Rotimi Amaechi switched to the APC two years later and there has been bad blood between the two parties ever since.

– ‘Bad losers’ –

Amaechi, who is heading Buhari’s presidential campaign, was among those who refused to vote after being told that results sheets would not be made available.

The supporters shouted anti-INEC slogans and “we must vote” against a heavy police presence.

Local INEC spokeswoman Tonia Nwobi told AFP before the protest: “It is not true that INEC has had any result to favour any party.

“We have received results from only one local government out of 23 (in the state).”

Nwobi’s boss, INEC chairman Attahiru Jega, told a news conference in the capital Abuja he had received a letter from the APC in Rivers calling for the election to be rescheduled in the state.

He promised a “thorough investigation” and for the decision to be communicated to the parties but he added: “We are concerned about what seems to be happening in Rivers state.

“There are many alleged cases of malpractice and we certainly pay a lot of attention to… it and if any of our staff are involved, we will apply appropriate sanctions.”

The Rivers state chairman of the PDP, Felix Obuah, dismissed the APC’s allegations, saying in a statement that the vote was “credible” and reflected the will of the people.

“Rivers state is a traditional PDP state and even if the elections are conducted a million times, the PDP will win here,” he added, saying the call to reschedule was “the behaviour of bad losers”.

Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

  • Adeola

    FELIX idiot what are yo talking about, the result is credible, what a shame. You guys said you are good politicians, so afraid of conducting good election for us to see how good you are. Nonsense from idiots in PDP

    • samuel

      Oga who be idiot for here? Because they should cancel the election in port Harcourt if no results slip. why PDP they fear,abi then get supporter, may den come out fully for new election if den know say them go win and stop this nonsense they are doing, we all are ready for change. Let’s move forward my fellow Nigerian and stop deceiving our self, we know PDP, rivers people are crying for good election.

      • Deboy Idonu

        I live in PH and voted at SHELL RA and i waited till my vote was counted ditto the other two polling units around us where PDP won in all. i wonder why the media who are heavily bias and compromised cannot do their investigation before running to publish this thrash. Rivers resources is seriously used to settle media houses including the militant Azezera, i wonder why this state is alway so unfortunate. The result should not be cancelled cos election took place in many parts of the State except some few areas where i was told told by some friends who could vote that the card readers were defective and the APC agents refused to consent to the use of manual hence they were asked to report back the followning day. Any body can hire a few crowd and make noise and this should not be allowed or else PDP may likely do the same thing in any state they might not win and that would send a wrong signal. I was told Amaechi would have lost in his ward if he had voted and knowing the embarassment that would had cause he decided hoodwink lazy journalist to this show of shame. River State is always unlucky with their governors who always loot the treasury dry.

        • samuel

          Sorry I now know u are a PDP member,sorry for u,if u claim to know,why is it only rivers state that there is no results shit, if u are proud to be a PDP member then why are u afraid of re conducting the election in phc, I stay in obio akpo,Rumuigbo. If eye witness that came to witness the election in Rivers State should say that they should conduct fresh election in phc,so what then are you talking about. Pls kindly speak the truth just for ones and lets leave sentiment. Thanks

  • slifer

    GEJ till 2019

    • Benny Hills

      GEJ will only remain in office if he wins credibly. Otherwise, there would have been no need for elections.

  • Benny Hills

    Even if PDP will win a million times, that is not the issue. What we want is a credible process, from accreditation to voting to counting of votes, to displaying the results. That is the process, that is the law, that is what Rivers people are asking for.

    • Obi Ukeje

      Benny, you are right on point! I live in Port Harcourt and know the lay of this land. Nyeson Wike and the PDP group in Rivers State are fond of diverting INEC’s result sheets to designated private houses, where fictitious numbers are recorded, with the full connivance of the Rivers INEC personnel – who are heavily induced. The only option open to Jega would be to reschedule the elections in Rivers State, with a new Resident Electoral Commissioner – who is to act as an unbiased umpire and see that the process of actually voting is clearly followed, and all results are collated and announced from the Polling Units, to the Ward level, to the LGA collation centres, and finally at the State INEC’s office. Once this process is followed, PDP’s strong and desperate desire to manipulate the people’s will in Rivers State would be mitigated and checked!

      • The same things used to happen in Oyo State during the life time of Baba Adedibu (a strong PDP politicians in Ibadan). Everything regarding election is done in his compound – voting, collating, filling result sheets and electoral fraud. With his demise, we thank God that normalcy has returned to voting in Oyo State. INEC should do something to this type of problem. In as much as there is rule and regulation to be followed, this must be strictly adhered to by all political parties.

      • perryy

        They have to also cancel and reschedule elections in kano, katsina and jigawa. Underage voters voted in millions in those states. GEJ till 2019

  • samuel

    The inec chairman in charge of rivers state should give quality reason why the result slip is not provided for the polling unit if not then there was no election. Maybe there was a agreement with the PDP and inec and they want to fill it because we all know what they can do…

  • kokibright

    Am so disappointed with pdp, wike and obuah. i thought i heard wike is very popular? so why resolve to barbaric method. i agree pdp will win but let the election be free, fair and credible. inec should do the necessary.

    • burning spear


      • Progress

        This sicko again?

  • Ojiyovwi

    It is very disappointing to learn of our people being prevented from casting their as they have the right so to do. Every one must be free to cast their votes as they freely deemed fit and proper and to be prevented from doing so for fear they may not vote for your chosen candidate is primitive and backward. I expect this sort of behaviour from uncultured people but to have this happen in an apparently well informed population stinks and INEC as the presiding civil body must urgently investigate and re-run the elections in those areas where idiot have sought to undermine the democratic process and the human rights of our people. For those regions and sates where the election process has successfully taken place, I join all our well wishers in congratulating our people in those polling areas. Some of my siblings were not success full in acquiring PVCs and I can only think that they did not think they will be able to register for the PVCs and I put that down to the fact that in democratic term, we are still learning and developing our own verifiable electoral process. Even here in the UK, with all the years of experience, elections are never perfect. So people take heart and learn lessons to inform future democratic processes. Congratulations so far.

  • burning spear

    if the the process introduced by INEC to check fraud through the card readers fails to screen the PVC of the President and His wife then the entire process must be flawed——————–No amount of excuse by Jega can justify such satanic acts–it does not matter whether it was 1 percent or 2 percent–the card readers failed the president–so jega must go–and work with tinubu as he has been doing since the inception of the presidential elections–99.9 percent of the result released so far by APC via INEC WERE ALL ABOUT THE VICTORY OF BUHARI-

  • Mfon I.

    PH (Rivers) people wake up from this sleep. Wetin them give una chop, abeg make una use una brains.

  • Michael

    Its just funny how people have turned Rivers state to a play ground .
    Every body saw how people left the state to vote in there villages , after voting there in there states , they are back to start causing confusion in Rivers state , there Official oil well to make money .

  • me

    I dnt seem 2undastand al of dis madness oh… Cn evry1 c beyond nw n choose 2look into d future? Since wen did leadership become a thing of party…. We dey joke oh, i m stil wonderin: places where dey’v announced apc as d winnin partya, y hs no1 said d election ws rigged by apc, y is it dat d states where pdp is leadin is nw bin turnd into war zones by apc members… Na wa oh…. We nid 2grow up @least 4d sake of d future n our generations unborn…

    • Bcos, the figures from there are so inflated as to unbelievable, they have to be proved as credible. That is a necessary step not to be overlooked.

  • THERE SHOULD BE ONE STANDARD OF VOTING FOR ALL STATES, and one standard of verification of results to see it as credible. The 95+% for PDP voters in SS and SE states are incredible, they should be proved. No state can avoid using card readers while others are constrained to use card readers.