Thousands of Leaders and members of 85 INEC Registered Political Parties on Wednesday marched through the streets of Port Harcourt, celebrating the re-election of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike while urging the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to diligently conclude the official Collation and Declaration of the State Governorship Election results.
The leaders and members of the registered political parties who gathered under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at the Isaac Boro Park in Port Harcourt by 7:30 am declared that the Peace Walk was aimed at telling the world that Rivers people irrespective of political affiliations voted overwhelmingly for Governor Wike on March 9, 2019.
They sang pro-Wike songs as they marched through the streets insisting that on no account should the votes of Rivers people be manipulated. They passed a vote of confidence on the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Obo Effanga.
The Rivers people on peaceful March displayed several placards indicating their preference for Governor Wike and the need for the Collation Process to be concluded as outlined in the timelines of INEC.
Some of the placards read: “Army Stop Disrupting the Collation Process in Rivers State”, “Army Please Allow INEC Conclude the Collation Process “, “Rivers People Overwhelmingly Voted for Governor Wike on March 9”, “We Shall Continue to Defend our Votes” and “Obo Effanga is a Professional and We are confident in his capacity to deliver “. Other placards read: “Amaechi leave Rivers State Alone”, “Federal Might has failed woefully in Rivers State “, “Prosecute Major General Jamil Sarhem for attempting to rob Rivers Mandate ” and “We condemn APC elders for their illegal letter to President Muhammadu Buhari “.
The peaceful march moved to the Rivers State Police Command where the leaders of the 85 Political Parties relayed the position of the people. In his address, Chairman of IPAC Rivers State, Sir Precious Baridoo said that the political parties are calling on INEC to continue with the Collation and Declaration of the Governorship election results.
He said: “Let the election process continue in Rivers State. We are telling INEC to follow through with the process. We condemn in totality, the calls by a few persons for the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga. We want him to continue and conclude his job”.
The Chairman of IPAC Rivers State noted that nothing should be done outside the law because the INEC process is constitutional. He said: “INEC process is constitutional and must be allowed to take place. It should be done normally for the peaceful co-existence of Rivers State”.
Also speaking, immediate past Chairman of IPAC Rivers State and Chairman Independent Democrats (ID), Pastor Samuel Ihunwo said Rivers people no longer want the militarisation of the polity because Rivers people were slaughtered by soldiers on March 9, 2019 because some persons wanted to rig the elections. He reiterated the position of the 86 registered political parties that Rivers people want the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga to conclude the 2019 Governorship Election Collation process. “Effanga is a professional and should be allowed to conclude the process. We condemn the few APC Elders who want to place the state in jeopardy while their children are studying abroad. We urge the President to ignore their letter”, he said. He said Rivers people have voted for Governor Wike and their votes will count as the Collation Process is brought to a logical conclusion.
Responding on behalf of the Rivers State Police Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Victor Erewere commended the members of IPAC for their peaceful conduct. He said that he will convey their message to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.
The procession later moved to the Rivers State Headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS) where they reiterated their demands for the conclusion of the Collation and Declaration of the Governorship Election results of Rivers State. They also re-affirmed their position that the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State be allowed to conclude the Collation Process.