Tuesday, April 2, 2019 3:24 pm
Okafor Ifiebor/Port Harcourt
Two groups of protesters took to the streets of Port Harcourt on Tuesday as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC begins the collation of the results of the Rivers State March 9 Governorship and State House of Assembly
While a group of the protesters were against the collation of the results, which they alleged have been compromised, the other group asked INEC to continue with the process and declare winners of the election.
The Protesters who were against the Collation led by an elder statesman, and a Kalabari Chief, Anabs Sara-Igbe converged at the Airforce junction on Aba/Port Harcourt Expressway and marched towards Hotel Presidential Axis before they were dispersed by armed Policemen who shot sporadically into the air at Elelenwo Street.
Before they were dispersed, Anabs Sara-Igbe had criticized INEC’s decision to continue with the collation of the results.
He said the protest was to expose how INEC and its REC in Rivers State, Obo Effanga had manipulated the process to favour the ruling party in the state.
“INEC had told Rivers people that it suspended the Electoral process because of alleged violence. But some weeks after, the same INEC suddenly surfaced with results from 17 local government areas. Where did INEC get the results for which Governor Wike and PDP are the only ones who are privy of it. We were the results kept? In Government House?” he queried.
The Protesters and journalists covering the protests scampered for safety with the unleashing of the tear gas by the Police. There were unconfirmed reports that some of the protesters were apprehended.
Another group of Protesters who are mainly PDP women simultaneously gathered at the Port Harcourt Polo Club.
They said they are in support of the ongoing collation of the March 9 Governorship results so that the winners can be announced to break the logjam that has befallen Rivers State.
They said they will remain peaceful, but would challenge anybody who will attempt to disrupt the long awaited collation of result.
Emma Okah, Commissioner for Information and Communication Commissioner, had in government announcement on Monday warned that the Rivers State Government was going to arrest anyone found on the streets engaging in any protest.