A Port Harcourt based socio-political group, Fresh Agenda for Rivers (FAR) has praised the Nigerian Army for making their men available on the streets and towns in Rivers state during the March 9th governorship and House of Assembly elections.
In a statement released to members of the press in Port Harcourt and read by Comrade Peter Az Ohochukwu, the group said the presence of the Army saved the state from “going through the experiences of 2015 in which Rivers state was described as a theatre of war by the Supreme Court of Nigeria”.
Fresh Agenda for Rivers however, criticized the alleged invasion of the Obio Akpor Collation Center by Governor Nyesom Wike.
“We condemn in strong terms the unconstitutional, undemocratic and barbaric attitude of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Barr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike who invaded the Obio/Akpor local government Collation Center with 200 armed thugs and made away with result sheets and other electoral materials”.
FAR took a swipe at the activities of INEC and its officials in the state, especially the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effang whom it described as “grossly incompetent” for having failed in the conduct of three successive elections in Rivers state.
“We call on the National Chairman of INEC to play down his obvious partisan interest in Rivers state and withdraw Effanga for proper training and also redeploy his hatchet man Mr Etim Umoh (Administrative Secretary) and all the local government Electoral Officers as all of them have compromised and shown vested interest in a particular political party”.
“it is unbelievable that a commission that went on air to suspend an election stating that there was violence in substantial number of polling units and collation centers and that their staff were taken hostage and materials including result sheets were either seized or destroyed will turnaround to say they have results collated from units.
The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies to prevail on INEC to stop its “unlawful, unconstitutional and mischievous activities” which are capable of throwing the state and the Niger Delta region into another round of crisis and undermine national security. They also called for investigation into the activities of stakeholders who raised those armed thugs that camouflaged as security agents and aided in the hijacking of electoral materials.