“…There was pandemonium when the governor’s security aide shot into the air ostensibly to scare away people who might contemplate tinkering with the election results.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates winners of the Rivers East and Rivers West senatorial districts in the re-run elections conducted last Saturday.
Declaring the results for Rivers East Senatorial District, the Returning Officer, Prof Onu Ekumankama, said PDP’s Senator George Sekibo polled 98,098 votes to defeat Mr Andrew Uchendu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 34,193 votes.
For Rivers West Senatorial District, the Returning Officer, Prof Raphael Ndubuisi Echebiri, declared that the PDP’s Osinakachukwu Ideozu polled 107,166 votes to defeat APC’s Otelemaba Amachree who scored 46,898 votes.
The declaration of the two results won by the PDP led to widespread celebration by Rivers’ residents across the state.
Governor Nyesom Wike led thousands of Rivers people on a victory march across the streets of Port Harcourt, which terminated at the government house, Port Harcourt.
In an address at the government house yesterday, Governor Wike commended Rivers people for what he described as standing up in defence of democracy and the interest of the state.
He praised the people for their courage in the face of what he called “invading security agencies” in their bid to subvert the will of the people.
The governor said the sacrifice made by the Rivers people brutally murdered was for the defence of the interest of the state because they refused to be “conquered by the invaders”.
He said, “What has happened today will not happen in 2019. Now, they have told us. They will see that we will also be prepared. This will not happen again.
“I have told the security agencies, you come and collect security money from me and use it against Rivers people. Enough is enough. They will now be depending on NDDC for their funding. Let me see where it will take them to.”
The governor added, “Rivers people must work as brothers and sisters and defend our interests. We don’t have police. We don’t have army. But we have God. And so, we must put our house in order and be our own police, be our own army.
“We have no confidence in the army. We have no confidence in the police. We have no confidence in the SSS. They have shown that there is no democracy in Nigeria,” he said.
The governor added that politicians like the minister of Transportation, who he said were not on ground, will never win elections in Rivers State.
He said those who attempted to re-colonise Rivers State by donating monies from their states had been “shamed by the vigilance of the people”.
He said, “Wherever they are, shame unto them. Whether they are in Abuja, Plateau, Bauchi, Benue or Kano, shame unto them.”
There was a standoff at the Port Harcourt City local government area, centre of the collation for Rivers East senatorial election when the governor led hundreds of PDP supporters to storm the place.
The governor was said to have stormed the place when he got information that the minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, was at the collation centre.
There was pandemonium when the governor’s security aide shot into the air ostensibly to scare away people who might contemplate tinkering with the election results.
Amaechi hails from Rivers East senatorial district. He and the caretaker committee chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Nwanosike, had traded words over the conduct of the re-run election.
Speaking on his victory, Senator Sekibo said he would not have been declared winner without the resolve of Governor Wike and the people of the senatorial district to ensure that their votes counted.
But the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 election, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, rejected the declaration of Sekibo as the winner, alleging that Wike forced the returning officer to announce the result despite the fact that more results were being awaited.
On Sunday, the APC senatorial candidate in Rivers South East District, Senator Magnus Abe, was declared winner, defeating the PDP candidate, Olaka Wogu.
Abe garnered 125,938 votes to defeat his PDP main challenger, who polled 25,394 votes. (DailyTrust)