Saturday, April 17, 2021 8:30 pm
By Okafor Ofiebor /Port Harcourt
It has been a mixed bag of violence, isolated incidents of bloodshed, protests and complaints of manipulation of the electoral process by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as Rivers local government election came to an end on Saturday evening.
In Asari-Toru local government area, candidates and agents of some opposition parties called for cancellation of the polls at Ward 11, Abalama over alleged rigging of the election.
The SDP Councillorship candidate, Daerogo West, alleged that officials of Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission came to the 15 polling units in the ward with fake result sheets.
Agent of the party in unit 13, Vincent Kelvin, also alleged that the ad-hoc staff were engaged in multiple thumb printing for the PDP.
Corroborating their claims, the ADC agent, Bestman Experience, alleged that thugs loyal to the PDP attempted to beat him up when he raised the issue of irregularities in the ward.
Reacting to the allegations, a PDP agent in one of the units in the ward told City News that the elections was very peaceful and smooth.
The opposition parties agents are currently protesting in front of a house said to belong to a PDP leader in the area where RSIEC ad-hoc staff were also converging.
PDP Chairmanship candidate, Onengiyeofori George, also said the election was peaceful and was conducted in a credible manner. “Election was peaceful, credible and very calm in Buguma, headquarters of Asari-Toru local government area. I am sure given the massive turn out, we are coasting to victory.”
Reports also indicate that hoodlums attacked the PDP councillorship candidate in Opobo ward 7 in Opobo-Nkoro local government area, Hon. Tumini Jaja.
An eyewitness alleged that the attack on the candidate was sponsored by another member of the PDP in the area.
Jerry Amadi, the SDP chairmanship candidate in Ikwerre Local Government Area also raised alarm that his party’s councillorship candidate in Apani Ikwerre Local Government Area, Hope Amadi, was beaten and chased to the bush.
However, Samuel Nwanosike Ikwerre local government Council area PDP Chairmanship candidate described the election as very peaceful.
He commended RSIEC and the people for coming out to vote for candidates of their choice.
Also in Rumuokwurusi Ward 3, Unit 8 and 9, in Obio-Akpor local government area, armed party thugs fired gun shots snatched ballot boxes.
This happened immediately after accreditation of voters started.
However, at time of filing in this report, collation of the election result has started.