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Wike gets certificate of return, deplores army’s, FSARS’s roles in Rivers polls


INEC National Commissioner, supervising Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu (L), presenting certificate of return to Rivers State Governor-elect, Gov. Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt on Tuesday (16/4/19).<br />03094/16/4/2019/Chidi Ohalete/TA/JAU/NAN

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday decried attempt by some military and Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (F-SARS) personnel to subvert the March 9 gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in the state.

He said it was regrettable that a FSARS commander in Rivers State, who was indicted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for breaching the electoral process in the 2016 legislative re-run, was still allowed to commit more devious acts during the polls.

Wike stated this at INEC Office in Port Harcourt, while receiving his Certificate of Return with his deputy, Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo and 32 elected members of the state Assembly.

National Commissioner in charge of Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo states, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, wife of the governor, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Obo Effanga attended the ceremony.

The governor dedicated his victory to Rivers people who were killed by the Nigerian Army in defence of their votes and democracy, stating that their sacrifices would never be forgotten.

He described as loathsome activities of some Nigerian Army personnel who arrested several Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the state prior to the election and barricaded INEC Office on March 10 as part plans to smuggle in fake results to manipulate the results.

The governor urged INEC to prosecute the FSARs Commander who was indicted for violence during the 2016 rerun elections, adding that a team led by the Commander was also responsible for the death of Dr. Ferry Gberebge, who teaches at the Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori and served as PDP collation agent.

He, however, commended the Police and DSS for living up their responsibilities during the elections just as he lauded INEC for its commitment to the conclusion of Rivers elections, despite pressures to do otherwise.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who was represented by Agbamuche-Mbu, decried the violence that characterised the 2019 elections in the state.

Yakubu said steps should be taken by all stakeholders to change elections narrative in the state and commended Rivers people for their contribution to the successful conduct of the exercise.

Speaking, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Obo Effanga, said despite pressures and attacks, INEC conducted credible elections in line with extant laws, adding: “If we sustain the momentum, Rivers would no longer be a flashpoint of elections violence.”

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