Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has blamed the Police for the suspension of Saturday’s Port Harcourt Constituency Three bye-election.
Governor Wike stated that the consistency with which the Police sabotages the electoral process in Rivers State amounts to a declaration of war on the people.
He said despite assurances from the Rivers State Commissioner of Police during the last State Security Council meeting that the police will remain neutral and act professionally, the police on Saturday August 18, 2018, allegedly joined forces with APC thugs to disrupt the election.
In a state broadcast on the Port Harcourt State Constituency Three bye-election disrupted by gunmen, Governor Wike charged Rivers people not to succumb to the antics of the police.
He alleged that State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ojukaye Flag Amachree led the disruption of the process.
According to Wike, “The consistent sabotage of the electoral process by the Police amounts to a declaration of war against the people of Rivers State and their solemn rights to freely and fairly choose their leaders and representatives.
“Clearly there are dangerous times ahead but we must not give in to intimidation lest we loose our liberties and become slaves in our own land.
“Against the backdrop it is up to the people of Rivers State to choose the option that will serve their interest.”
“As we had feared, the Police failed us completely once again and negated all that they promised. Instead of providing security for voters and INEC officials the Police brazenly colluded with political thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to subvert the democratic process and denied the people of Port Harcourt Constituency III their rights to free, fair and credible elections.
“Confirmed reports from the field indicated that INEC promptly and rightly distributed elections materials to all the polling units within a recorded time.
“However, while voting was underway, armed thugs from the APC led by the State’s factional Chairman, Mr. Flag Ojukaye Amachree moved freely from one polling unit to the other, violently assaulted voters and INEC officials and carted away election materials, including smart card readers and ballot boxes.”
“It is important to note that Ojukaye Flag Amachree who led the thugs is the same person facing multiple murder trial and instead of arresting him as ordered by the trial court, the Police has continued to aid and shield him from arrest and prosecution.
“It is equally important to note that Ojukaye Flag Amachree and his thugs freely and easily overran the entire constituency and successfully disenfranchised the electorates with the active support, protection and guidance of heavily armed Police operatives from the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) and the Inspector General of Police’s Monitoring Unit.
“This situation is worrisome. If the Nigerian Police cannot secure and guarantee the peaceful and successful conduct of election in a single State Constituency of 8 wards, then what will happen in 2019 when they would be contending with 319 electoral wards and 4442 polling units across 23 Local Government Areas of the State?”
While the Rivers State Governor commended INEC for acting professionally, he berated the police for allegedly taking sides and offering illegal aid to APC to undermine the electoral process in the state.