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How to avert violence in Rivers legislative polls, by Wike


 Nyesom Wike

Nyesom Wike

Parties allege plot to scuttle exercise
River State Governor Nyesom Wike says the only way to avert violence in the state during the December 10, 2016 rerun national and state assembly elections was for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be neutral.

Tension has continued to mount between the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged plans to scuttle the polls.

Speaking during a dedication service for kick-off of campaign for the elections yesterday in Port Harcourt, the governor urged the electoral umpire to maintain high level of partisanship for the people’s will to prevail.

“This election will prove whether INEC is ready to conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria, “ he said, adding that his party was committed to violence-free polls.

Wike went on: “What causes violence during election is when the umpire wants to manipulate, rig or write results. We will resist any attempt to write results. PDP will not be involved in anything violent, but we will not allow anyone to steal our votes. We will protect our votes and make sure that the people’s choice is declared.”

But the state chairman of the APC, Davies Ikanya, alleged that some of the over 22,000 repentant militants and cultists who accepted the state
Government’s amnesty were not disarmed but directed to disrupt the coming elections.

He called on the police to retrieve returned arms from the state government for safe keep and interrogate the source of these arms.

According to him, doing so would help the force stop further procurement, proliferation and circulation of the deadly weapons, while also preventing their recycling in future to cause more mayhem in the state.

But the state PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, accused the APC of attempting to frame up unfounded charges against his party leaders considered as stumbling blocks in the wards where the re-run elections are to hold.

He claimed that he was in possession of a list of leaders already marked for arrest before the polls and were only to be released after the exercise.

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