The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has described Saturday’s by-election in Rivers State for Port Harcourt Constituency III State Assembly seat as “another sad reality that votes of Nigerians will not be allowed to count at the 2019 election as the elections will be held
at gun-point to achieve predetermined results”.
INEC has suspended the election, citing “widespread violence”.
According to the Governor, despite the legacy of free, fair and credible conduct of elections bequeathed to the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria is in a state of anarchy, because of the desperation of a few people to retain power.
In a release issued on Sunday by Fayose’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, quoted him as saying, “it is worrisome that the same way they invaded Ekiti State with over 50,000 armed security personnel last month and laid siege on the State for a whole week was how they invaded Rivers State yesterday with men of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that aided APC thugs to snatch election materials, including card readers and abduct INEC officials.
“Even INEC could not but point it out in its press statement announcing suspension of the election that miscreants and hoodlums accompanied by heavily armed security personnel in uniform stormed polling units, destroying and carting away electoral materials as well as holding electoral officers hostage.
“We thought that we have gone past this era of manipulated electoral process after the 2015 general elections, which brought the APC and President Buhari to power, the country has been taken back to the Stone Age by merging APC with INEC, police, military and other security agencies.”
The Ekiti Governor called for the arrest and prosecution of the policemen that took part in the shootings and snatching of election materials in Rivers State, saying “there are pictorial evidence of the policemen on the social media, the police authority must not sweep this under the carpet as usual.”
He said if an election in just 142 polling units was so militarized, with gunshots everywhere, “time has come for Nigerians to rise up to this challenge of making sure that the democracy that they fought for is not destroyed by those whose only interest is to retain power in 2019.”
The Governor said; “I warned Nigerians in 2015 and when this reign of tyranny started, I kept warning. Now; free, fair and credible election is dead in Nigeria and election has become what the ruling party must ‘win’ at gun-point.”
He challenged President Buhari to stop pretending as if he knew nothing about the electoral malfeasance going on under his watch, adding that “It is the interest of the President that is being protected and it is a disservice to a man who is close to 80 years to allow his country to be turned to a war zone just because he is seeking reelection.”