INEC must comply with Electoral Act, political parties in Rivers insist
Say they have uncovered plot to rig guber election
Five political parties in Rivers State have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to comply, strictly, with stipulations of the Electoral Act during the governorship and state House of Assembly elections on March 18.
The parties, at a joint press conference in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said it was imperative they let the electorate know that they have uncovered a grand plot by top officials of INEC, in connivance with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to rig the elections.
Speaking at a joint press conference, the governorship candidates of All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Cole; National Rescue Movement (NRM), Sobomabo Jackrich; Action Alliance(AA), Dr. Dawari George; Accord, Dumo Lulu-Briggs; and African Democratic Congress(ADC), Tonte Ibraye, alleged that the state governor was plotting to use the 23 council secretariats being used as collation centres by INEC to rig and manipulate results of the March 18 governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state.
Speaking on behalf of other candidates, the APC governorship candidate, Cole, further claimed there was an instruction to the council chairmen to ensure that party agents do not have access to collation centres.
He called INEC and all relevant authorities to stop all government officials from accessing collation centres.
He urged INEC to act in accordance with Section 43(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, which prohibits government officials from acting or serving as agents to political parties.
He said: “Only party agents, according to law, and designated INEC officials that should have access to collation centres at the ward, council and state levels.”
Cole further stated that on no account should the governor be exempted from the restrictions of access to collation centres in accordance with the law, alleging that his presence at collation centre will compromise the process and cast doubts on the credibility and ability of INEC to conduct free, fair, and credible elections in the state.
Also speaking, NRM governorship candidate, Jackrich, said activities of INEC officials and ad-hoc staff should be closely monitored to prevent subversion of the process.
He said: “We want peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in the state where the will of the people will not be subverted as we saw during the presidential and National Assembly elections.”
They called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies to intensify surveillance on INEC and the Central Bank of Nigeria to safeguard the electoral process and the forthcoming elections in Rivers State.