- The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday, April 16, issued Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers his certificate of return
- INEC also gave certificates to the state deputy governor-elect, Ipalibo Harry Banigo and members-elect of the Rivers House of Assembly
- Governor Wike commended INEC for standing firm on the side of the truth and for conducting free and fair polls in the state
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state was on Tuesday, April 16, issued a certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Port Harcourt.
Other recipients of the certificate include the state deputy governor-elect, Ipalibo Harry Banigo and members-elect of the Rivers House of Assembly.
The certificate was issued to the recipients by May Agbamuche-Mbu, NEC's national commissioner for Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo.
Dedicating the certificate to the people of the state and those who lost their lives during the general polls, Wike, in a statement made available to Legit.ng said: "Today, I dedicate this victory to the people of Rivers State.
"I also dedicate this victory to those killed by the Nigerian Army in defence of votes and democracy. But for their sacrifice, we would not be here."
Rivers governor decried the allegedly negative activities of the Nigerian Army during the elections in the state.
He said: "The duty of the Army is not to take over INEC office and carry out Collation. We saw the Army take over INEC functions and that of the police . Go to Bori camp, you will see INEC materials .
"Is it where it is supposed to be. But for God, we wouldn't have been here . All powers came, but God intervened and that's why we are here."
The Governor commended the police and Department of State Security (DSS) for living up their responsibilities during the 2019 General elections.
He said: "I commend INEC for standing firm on the side of the truth. I commend INEC officials for being firm."
He urged INEC to do its utmost in rehabilitating its Rivers office completely, adding that the state government will compensate families of the deceased both civilian and military.
On his part, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Obo Effanga said that INEC, amidst pressures, conducted free and fair elections in the state.
Effanga said: "For us in INEC Rivers State, we stayed focused on conducting a transparent, free , fair and credible election.
"As I kept promising, on behalf of my team, we were bound by the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, other laws and guidelines for the elections. We were further bound by the pronouncements and decisions of courts.
"The Present INEC by its conduct, helped to break away from the negative narrative of violence tainted victories or elections and results that have limited input and participation of the voters.
"We can say and confidently too, that many voters in the State had access to polling units and indeed exercised their rights to vote in peace in this election than in previous elections."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Wike had been declared winner of the Rivers state governorship election. INEC announced the result of the election on Wednesday, April 3, at the collation centre in Port Harcourt.
The incumbent governor scored 886,264 votes to defeat Biokpomabo Awara of the African Action Congress (AAC) who polled 173,859 votes. The margin of victory was at 712,405 votes while 249,324 votes were cancelled.
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