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Rivers Guber candidates ask Buhari to ban Army from election duty


Coalition of gubernatorial candidates in Rivers State has called on President Buhari to ensure the army is prohibited from election duties in Rivers State next week.

The group, while addressing the press yesterday in Port Harcourt, said they are worried over the militarization of last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.

Chairman of the Coalition, Ihunwo Samuel, condemned what he described as the brazen violence, snatching of election materials, harassment and abduction of electoral officers and the wanton killings of innocent persons in multiple Local Government Areas of the state. He further enjoined the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state to stay away from the elections as the courts have excluded it from the ballot boxes.

Samuel in a statement jointly signed by over 50 candidates, said the state was tired of killings, disruptions of electoral process and disfranchisement of voters by the army and INEC. “According to credible intelligence, INEC has been compromised to exclude the name and logo of one of the political parties from the ballot papers. Equally worrisome is the report that where INEC fails to effect the exclusion of the designated political party from the ballot papers by Wednesday 6th March 2019, the alternative plan is to resort to the use of the army to disrupt, disorganize and scuttle the distribution of election materials from the State Registration Area Centres to the various wards and units across the entire state.”

“Furthermore, in the event that the elections manage to hold, the plan also includes using the Department of State Security (DSS) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to harass and force electoral and collation officers to cooperate and comply with the rigging template and directives of the APC.” He said in spite of the hue and cry over their murderous activities in last week’s general election, “the army is again, neck deep in the plot to unlawfully assist the APC to disrupt and prevent next week’s elections from holding.”The Deputy Director of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Aminu Iliyazu assured that they would remain apolitical.

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