- Engr. Awara Biokpomabo has asked INEC to declare him the winner of the governorship election in Rivers state
- Biokpomabo, the governorship candidate for the African Action Congress (AAC), was adopted by the APC before the polls
- INEC had suspended the collation of the election results in the state due to widespread violence
Engr. Awara Biokpomabo, the governorship candidate for the African Action Congress (AAC), has asked Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him the winner of the governorship election in Rivers state.
Biokpomabo made the demand on Monday March 11 at a press briefing in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.
INEC had suspended the collation of the election results in the state due to widespread violence over the weekend.
The AAC candidate claimed that before the suspension, in some other local government areas, results had already been collated and declared, adding that he was in clear lead and was coasting to victory.
His words: “Some of the unit results announced at the polling units in the local government were collations were not concluded clearly before the suspension of the processes show that I won over 15 local government areas.
“The INEC pleaded insecurity, violence, seizure of electoral materials by hoodlums etc. as the reasons for suspending the remaining stages of the election. I reject the reason given by INEC.
“This is because in the local government areas that were affected, voting had concluded, results declared at the polling units and collation had begun before the abrupt suspension of the process. The commission does not have the power under our electoral act to suspend elections that has already been concluded.
“The suspension of the elections by INEC was done to give respite to candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was trailing behind, frustrate my victory. My party went into these elections against an umpire dangerously skewed in favour of the PDP.”
He accused the resident electoral commission, all the electoral officers, assistant electoral officers, heads of department in the Rivers offices of the commission of working for the candidate of the PDP and incumbent governor, Nyesome Wike.
“No wonder when they saw that I was leading and would eventually win the election, they raised a false alarm to the headquarter of the commission and misinformed them that there was widespread violence and seizure of electoral materials,” he said.
Biokpomabo, therefore, made the following demands:
i.That the results already declared at the aforesaid local government collation centres should be accepted;
ii.That INEC should declare me Engr. Awara Biokpomabo of the African Action Congress (AAC), the winner of the 09-03-2019 governorship election in the state;
iii.The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Mr. Oboe Efaga should be immediately redeployed for gross incompetence.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship in Rivers state has declared that the decision of INEC to suspend the announcement of election results in Rivers state was illegal.
The APC said the stance of the electoral commission was aimed to give Governor Nyesome Wike a soft landing, stressing that INEC's decision is not recognised by Nigerian laws.
In a statement sent to journalists on Sunday, March 10 by the party's campaign spokesman, Prince Tonye Princewill, the APC queried why the commission failed to deal with areas where violence was reported, but choose to with hold the result of the entire state when the governorship candidate of the AAC and all others backed by the APC were cruising to victory.
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