Accuse INEC of playing to Governor Wike script
Our hands are tied, INEC headquarters has not directed-INEC Official
Residents Electoral Commissioner stopped from entering office
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Candidates and Members of the All Progressives Congress, APC,loyal to Tonye Cole in Rivers State at 8 am barricaded the head office of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, in Port Harcourt, accusing the electoral body of connivance with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to deny its candidates participation in the forthcoming general election.
Obo Effang , the Resident INEC Commissioner who arrived the office was barred from entering his office until their demands are met.
The peaceful protest led by Oji Ngofa ,Ambassador of Nigeria to Netherlands, who is the APC,Senatorial candidate for Rivers South East who spoke on behalf of members at the INEC office.
They accused INEC of receiving service on the stay of execution order by the Court of Appeal on the judgment of Justice Kolawole Omotosho of a Federal High Court but wondered why INEC had refused to comply with the order.
He expressed shock that INEC which was quick to de-list APC candidates on the strength of the High Court order, in obedience to the Appeal Court order, saying it was a clear sign of connivance with the PDP to deny them justice.
He wondered why Governor Nyesom Wike and PDP were afraid of the opposition party, alleging that the governor has bribed all the institutions in the state to pave way for him to ride freely to an undeserved re-election, but vowed that the APC would resist him and his members.
The ambassador to Netherland further said that they will remain at the INEC office until the right thing was done, saying that if the electoral umpire refused to obey the order, there would not be election in Rivers State.
Receiving the protesting group on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commission, REC, who was reportedly out of the state, a senior official, Mr. Edwin Enabo, thanked the protesters fo their orderly and peaceful conduct but said that the INEC in Rivers State was handicapped on their request and pleaded with them to channel their agitation to the Commission’s national headquarters in Abuja.
The protesting APC members carried placards with different inscriptions including,”Wike has bribed INEC to exclude APC”,“No APC no election in Rivers State”; “INEC we deserve justice”; “INEC must obey court order”, among others.
Before the protest, the state government had issued a statement warning that APC wants to protest with the sole aim disrupt INEC planned election in the statement.
In a statement signed by Emma Okah, advised members of the public to go about their businesses.
At the time of filing this report the protest was peaceful, as security agents were on hand.