Rivers Election: Police, INEC betrayed us – Army

Rivers Election: Police, INEC betrayed us – Army

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 12:58 pm

One of the soldiers allegedly shot and wounded by Governor Nyesom Wike’s, security aides at Obio-Akpor collation Centre lying critically ill at the Hospital in Port Harcourt.

Says policemen attached to Gov. Wike who allegedly shot Army personnel must be fished and out punished.

.All existing joint activities with Police to be reviewed

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The Headquarters of the 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA),Port Harcourt, has expressed shock and dismay over what it described as betrayal from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Rivers State Police Command despite the sacrifices made by its officers in provision of security which facilitated peaceful elections in the state.

The Army said this while picking holes in a statement signed by INEC’ National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq on 15 March 2019 indicting its officers for various acts of misconducts during the election.

INEC had in the statement claimed said it came to the conclusion that the conducts of military personnel during the elections in Rivers were less than honourable following the findings of a fact-finding committee it sent to assess the situation that led to stalemate in the declaration of the results of the election conducted in the State.

But the 6 Division Nigerian Army said as a stakeholder in the 2019 General Elections it takes exception to the INEC report which it described as lopsided, unfair and strongly and totally rejected it.

The Army which said this in a statement issued by Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director Army Public Relations, also regretted that its inputs and submissions to the INEC fact-finding committee were not reflected in the report.

According to the Army, its representatives  met with the Fact-Finding Committee on Tuesday 12 March 2019 at the INEC Headquarters in Port Harcourt and had honest discussions and made a written submission to aid the Committee in its task.

“Regrettably, none of the Division’s input formed any of the findings of INEC as made public. This clearly indicates lack of trust by an institution that the NA sacrifices so much to assist in the course of performing their role.”

Tracing the genesis of the suspension of Governorship and State House of Assembly elections process in Rivers State, the Army stated that : “What INEC failed to mention or even consider is the fact that at about 10:30 pm on Saturday 9th March 2019, troops of 6 Division NA detailed at the outer perimeter of Obio/Akpor Local Government Headquarters Collation Center were brazenly attacked by Governor Wike’s security aides and armed thugs who stormed the collation center with the Governor in a convoy of more than 50 vehicles while collation of results was going on.

“In the ensuing melee, Captain Adams Salami was shot at close range by the security aides of Governor Wike while Corporal Adeosun Adebayo was matcheted by Governor Wike’s thugs. Both victims are currently receiving treatment at University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) Intensive Care Unit and Military Hospital Port Harcourt respectively with life threatening injuries. Thereafter, election materials were carted away and electoral officials abducted by the Governor’s thugs to an unknown destination. This was made known to the INEC Fact-Finding Committee, but INEC does not see it worth condemning or mention in its report.”

The Army also alleged betrayal by the Police. The Army claimed that after due consultations and considerations with it, the Rivers State Police Command on Sunday the 10th of March 2019, on their own, took the initiative to invite the media to the hospitals where the two victims are receiving treatment and thereafter to host a press conference on the matter with the view to dissociate itself from the unprofessional conduct exhibited by their men attached to Wike and tell the public what disciplinary action the command will take or is already taking.

It recalled, however, while the visit to the victims was accomplished and the 2 victims interviewed by the media, the press conference was aborted by the Police after journalists have been assembled.

“Coincidentally, a rescheduled press conference on the matter was also aborted on Thursday the 14th of March 2019. Most disheartening is that while the Rivers State Police Command accepts the involvement of their personnel in the attack at Obio/Akpor LG Headquarters, till date those personnel have not at least been reprimanded.”

“The Army Division is equally expressed disappointment with the attitude exhibited by the Nigerian Police in this regard and hereby request the police leadership to commence full scale investigation of those security aides to Governor Wike that attacked troops at the Obio/Akpor LG Headquarters Collation Center who allegedly shot at Capt AA Salami with a view to appropriately sanction those found culpable.

The Army gave condition that until that is done; the Headquarters 6 Division NA will have to review all existing joint activities with the Rivers State Police Command.

It will noted that both the state Government and the Rivers State Police Command were yet to react to the allegations at the time of filing this report.

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