Election 2019: Rivers APC decries violence during polls, fingers state govt

Election 2019: Rivers APC decries violence during polls, fingers state govt

- The APC in Rivers have exonerated the party from the violence that rocked some parts of the state during the just concluded elections

- The party also rejected statements and comments attributed to the Rivers state government that senior APC chieftains were responsible for the violence

- The party said the result of the just concluded elections in Rivers is an indication of a new beginning in the state

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers have exonerated the party from the violence that rocked some parts of the state during the just concluded elections.

The APC made the clarification during a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, February 27.

The briefing was addressed by the Rivers APC governorship candidate, Arc. Tonye Cole with the Director General of Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation, Hon. Chidi Lloyd and Hon Victoria Nyeche.

The party also rejected statements and comments attributed to the Rivers state government that senior APC chieftains were responsible for the violence.

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Cole said: “Over the past few days, Rivers state has once again been in the headlines globally for all the wrong reasons.

“In a nationwide election that sought to elect a president for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and members of the National Assembly, our dear state was characterized with armed conflict which unfortunately led to the death of innocent Nigerians that had simply sought to exercise their civic duty of participating in an electoral process.

“At this juncture allow me to express my most profound and sincere condolences to the families who lost loved ones last weekend. In particular, we reach out to the family of Miss Ibisaki Amachree who was shot while on duty.

“One death is one too many and no one has the right to kill in the name of power and politics. May the souls of all those who died this weekend rest in peace and the families be rest assured that the federal government will seek justice for them, no matter how long it takes.

“It has been my personal plea and mantra as well as that of the APC that the violence meted out on our members and citizens of the state in 2015 and immediately thereafter has no place in any modern society, especially one that desperately needs to grow economically and develop for the betterment of her people.

“We have called for peace and peaceful elections at every stage, but it is unfortunate that there are people hellbent to cling on to power at any cost, even to the taking of human lives.

“I have been shocked and saddened by statements and comments attributed to the Rivers state governor that Prof. Charles Dokubo-Quakers, Prince Tonye Princewill and I are responsible for the carnage and deaths in Abonnema last weekend.

“These malicious and unfounded allegations are being investigated and our lawyers will advise on possible libel suits to take against those who have peddled these wicked falsehoods.”

The party, however, said the result of the just concluded elections in Rivers is an indication of a new beginning in the state.

“The result of the just concluded presidential elections is an indication of a new beginning and trajectory with respect to elections in Rivers state. Gone are the days when political thugs would hijack electoral materials and allocate hundreds of thousands of imaginary votes to their party.

“The results from the various units, wards and local government areas confirms this and further highlights the depth of rigging and manipulation of the 2015 elections that APC as a party had complained about.

“All that is required of anyone desirous of the truth is to compare the 2015 electoral figures where total votes cast was 1,584,768 with APC getting 69,238 while PDP got 1,487,075; to that of 2019 where total votes cast was 666,585 with APC getting 150,710 (even after 72,000 votes in Emohua was unconstitutionally removed) and PDP getting 473,971 and the story would clearly unfold,” Cole said.

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Meanwhile, the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for their dedication and professionalism during the course of Saturday's Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The mission in a statement signed by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; former Liberian president and leader of the ECOWAS observation mission, noted that the voting process went on smoothly despite the widespread delays witnessed at the commencement of the polls.

ECOWAS also applauded the effective presence of security agencies at various polling units for maintaining peaceful order and curtailing outbreak of violence experienced in some places.

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