RIVERS State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC of holding secret meetings with leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC. According to the statement from the office of the PDP chairman, Felix Obuah, the result of the secret meeting was the recruitment of card-carrying members of the APC, as electoral personnel, including presiding and returning officers and other INEC ad hoc staff for the state re-run elections billed for December 10, 2016. The PDP also confirmed that INEC had therefore commenced secret training of those APC card-carrying members to be deployed, for the election accordingly, even as some candidates of the APC, who wrote and submitted such names to INEC for the re-run elections, had been holding secret meetings with them. “To further cement their plan and ensure instructions are carried out absolutely, on Tuesday, November 22, 2016, APC candidate for Okrika/Ogu-Bolo Federal constituency, Maureen Tamuno, met with some of those APC – INEC ad hoc staff at a hotel in Rumuokoro, near Port Harcourt, during which she instructed the APC – INEC ad hoc staff to co-operate, and also made monetary promises to them.” Her words, “I can assure you that, we are through with the results for the state legislative elections coming up on 10/12/2016, even though only few were left, and that INEC, some NonGovernmental Organizations NGOs and security agents are solely behind us.” The PDP stressed that, Mrs Maureen Tamuno was quoted to have claimed, Rotimi Amaechi had finalised private security arrangements for Okrika and the other parts of the state. Similarly, the APC candidate for Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Mr. Magnus Abe was during the week, particularly Wednesday, November 23, 2016, reported to have held clandestine meetings with the APC-INEC ad hoc staff in a hotel, off Ada George Road, in Obio/ Akpo LGA. Concerned over the implications of those latest activities of the APC leaders, in collaboration with the INEC, particularly the resultant effects on the nation’s democratic tenets, the chairman, Rivers State chapter of the PDP, Felix Obuah, had flayed such unholy alliance, and also appealed to the security agencies, civil society organisations and other stakeholders, including the media, to rise to their responsibilities in defending the Constitution of Nigeria, and to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of relevant sections of the Electoral Acts, which forbid card-carrying members of political parties from being entrusted with certain responsibilities, including being used as INEC/Electoral personnel. The PDP chairman appealed to the security agencies not to compromise the integrity of the very important election in the state, but to conduct themselves in a manner that would correct the unfavourable public perception of their operations, during conduct of recent elections in the state, urging them to be apolitical to save Rivers State from potential crisis. In like manner, Obuah also called on lecturers and all those recruited by INEC, to ensure absolute peace and fairness at all locations and areas they are deployed to during the elections, as doing that will allow peace to reign in the Ssate even after the exercise. While urging INEC to, in the interest of fair play and respect for the rule of law, delete names of APC card-carrying members recruited as ad hoc staff, to do the bidding of the party from its list, the PDP chairman further challenged the APC to stop engaging in acts capable of truncating the electoral process and subvert the popular decision of the electorate, but to conduct itself in a manner expected of a responsible party. Obuah however appealed to members of the PDP to remain peaceful, but to religiously guide their votes and ensure the authentic results from the various units are not tampered with.

READ ALSO  Fulani herdsmen kill 5, invade Tor Tiv’s palace