RIVERS GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION: WIKE LEADS AS INEC CONTINUES COLLACTION.

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    Tori-Bokwu
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    Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the March 9 governorship election yesterday won in 13 of the 15 local government areas announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

    INEC resumed yesterday the collation of the results of the election which was suspended by the commission following the outbreak of violence during the collation of the results of the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

    Before INEC shifted the collation exercise to today, Wike had won in Port Harcourt City, Ikwerre, Andoni, Okrika, Eleme, Omuma, Bonny, Ahoada-East, Tai, Emohua, Opobo/Nkoro, Etche and Omuma local government areas while Biokpomabo Awara of the African Action Congress (AAC) clinched Akuku-Toru and Oyigbo local government areas.

    The breakdown of the results showed that in Port Harcourt City the AAC got 11, 866; PDP: 40,197), Ikwerre (AAC 5,660; PDP 14, 938), Andoni (AAC 5,335; PDP 92,056), Okirika AAC 3,803; PDP 25,572), Akuku-Toru (AAC 36, 661; PDP 25, 765); Oyigbo (AAC 32,026, PDP 8, 652) and Eleme (AAC 2, 748; PDP 9,560).

    Others are Opobo/Nkoro (AAC 3,888; PDP 6,314), Omuma (AAC 1, 853; PDP 15, 792), Bonny (AAC 3, 046; PDP 10, 551), Ahoada-East (AAC 3, 713; PDP 14, 589), Tai (AAC 540; PDP 47, 652), Emuoha (AAC 2,856; PDP 71,522), Etche (AAC 7,437; PDP 11, 842) and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (PDP 31,277 and AAC 8,423).

    With the All Progressives Congress (APC) out of the race on the order of the court, it entered an alliance with the AAC to unseat Wike.

    Three days to the governorship election, APC leader in the state and transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi, said that the party had adopted AAC for the governorship poll.Also yesterday, INEC declared the PDP candidates, Senator George Thompson Sekibo and Hon. Betty Apiafi as the winners of Rivers East and Rivers West senatorial districts.

    Today’s collation exercise will cover Obio/Akpor and the seven local government areas in the state.

    At the commencement of the exercise at INEC headquarters in Port Harcourt yesterday, the commission’s national commissioner for Bayelsa, Edo and Rivers State, May Agbamuche-Mbu, expressed commitment of the commission to ensuring a smooth process.

    Agbamuche-Mbu, who stated that security was a critical issue in Rivers election, recalled that it led to the suspension of entire electoral exercise in the state and promised that INEC would bring the collation to a logical end.

    Meanwhile, suspected political thugs yesterday disrupted a protest staged by two non-governmental organisations against INEC over the suspended gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in the state.

    The groups: United Niger Deltans for Buhari (UNDB) and Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisation (CNHO) in Rivers State embarked on the protest and ignored the state government’s ban on such activities.

    They carried placards with inscriptions such as: “INEC don’t rape us”, “Ijaw say no electoral fraud”, “Obo Efanga, you have been exposed, back off” and “We say no to open day electoral robbery”, amongst others.

    The protest came to an abrupt end when suspected thugs invaded and attacked the members near Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, with stones, bottles and later gunshots were heard.

    The leader of the UNDB, Anabs Sara-Igbe, who is also the spokesman of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), accused the state government of using thugs to stop the peaceful protest.

    Sara-Igbe stated that the groups had obtained police permit before embarking on the protest, adding that the government could not use the police to enforce its order.

    He said: “We obtained police clearance for the protest. Some boys were hired to disrupt the protest. They came and shot into the crowd. The government does not have respect for human lives.”

    Also, the leader of the Coalition of NGOs, Comrade Somina Wokoma, declared that the people of state were being marginalised.

    Wokoma said that the riverine section had not been given the opportunity to govern the state for over 20 years, adding that a riverine person must be given the chance.

    He called on INEC to be fair in the process by cancelling the entire process and transfer of the resident electoral commissioner (REC), Obo Effanga and other top officials of the commission in the state.

    The Action Democratic Party (ADP) has warned INEC of the consequences of the unilateral collation of results of the March 9 elections in the stat.

    Its governorship candidate, Victor Fingesi, in a statement he issued in Port Harcourt yesterday, called for an inclusive stakeholders’ meeting as part of the efforts to resolve the electoral crisis in the state.

    Fingesi, who described the March 30 stakeholders’ meeting organised by INEC as not inclusive because the ADP was not invited, said that it was improper for the commission to make many mistakes, some of which bordered on legal issues, and gloss over it to continue the collation of the results.

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