Observers slam Rivers Election, call for fresh polls

Observers slam Rivers Election, call for fresh polls

Sunday, April 12, 2015 11:41 pm

Some international observers

Some international observers

International election observers on Sunday called for the cancellation of the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers state.

The leader of African Centre for Leadership Strategies and Development, Mr Humphrey Bekaren, who spoke on behalf of the observers, made the call in Port Harcourt.

He said the observers were shocked that INEC disregarded the widely reported violent irregularities to begin the process of declaring results in the state.

“What we saw did not meet international standard of electioneering, not even the ones set by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC,’’ he said.

“We request all lovers of democracy to join us in calling for the outright cancellation of the phony election.

“Unless this is done, we would have sown the seed that could eventually grow into providing a shade of fear and death over us,” he said.

According to Bekaren, what happened in Rivers was a far cry from what election should be.

“What we saw did not meet international standard of electioneering, not even the ones set by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC,’’ he said.

He said there were reported incidents like deliberate delays and diversion of electoral materials, attacks on electoral officers, widespread arson and voter intimidation.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers, Mrs Gesila Khan, said INEC cancelled election in centres with reported electoral malpractices.

She said re-run elections took place in six local government areas in the state where electoral malpractices were reported.

In a related development, Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State through Mr. David Iyofor,his Chief Press Secretary,CPS, has alleged that the police in the state want to doctor the statements of about 110 persons arrested for electoral offences and crimes in Tai Local Government during Saturday’s gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections.

According to the state government some persons allegedly arrested include:75 National Youth Service Corps, NYSC members who are ad hoc staff of INEC.

He said those who were arrested with the electoral materials are of about 9 wards by Mopol 56 in Rivers State were caught thumb-printing ballot papers for PDP candidates in the private residence of a PDP chieftain in Tai.

The statement said Governor of Rivers State had been reliably informed that the police want to doctor their statements, in a bid to exonerate the culprits caught thumb-printing ballot papers for the PDP in Tai; so that the culprits can be subsequently released.

Join The Conversation


  • The Trib3sman says:

    Which International Observer? Henry Bekaren is an Amaechi hired hand and a dubious APC element. See a screen capture of his linkedIn profile page

  • Kareem says:

    I voted in Rivers State. My polling unit was totally calm and peaceful. Accreditation took less than one minute. Voting commenced around 3pm. No incidence whatsoever. Also, most units in the Port Harcourt metropolis were well organized. From what I observed and from discussions in the days before the elections, here’s the truth: many people later decided to vote PDP not really because they loved Wike, but to punish Amechi whom they felt colluded to betray GEJ their brother. Even royal fathers and community elders make such comments…

  • What do you think?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.