The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced that it will commence the collation of election results in Rivers State, for the Governorship election.
In a statement signed by its National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, the Electoral body also condemned the role played by the Nigerian Army, and armed gangs, allegedly sponsored by the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in disrupting the Electoral process in the State.
On Rivers State, INEC said: “On the 10th of March, 2019, the Commission suspended all electoral processes in Rivers State, having determined that there was widespread disruption of collation of results of the elections conducted on the 9th day of March, 2019. Subsequently, the Commission set up a Fact-Finding Committee, to assess the situation, and report back within 48-hours.
“The Commission met on the 15th day of March, 2019, and considered the report of the Committee, and established the following:
“That the Governorship and State Assembly elections took place in most of the polling units, and results were announced.
“That the results from 17 Local Governments out of 23, are available and are in the Commission’s custody.
“That the Declaration and Returns for 21 State Constituencies out of 32, were made prior to the suspension. That Collation Centres were invaded by some Soldiers and armed gangs, resulting in the intimidation and unlawful arrest of election Officials, thereby disrupting the collation process.
“Consequent upon the foregoing, the Commission: Expresses its displeasure with the role played by some Soldiers and armed gangs, in Rivers State, disrupting the collation process and attempting to subvert the will of the people. Is committed to expeditious completion of the collation process, where results of the elections have been announced.
“Will engage the Security Agencies at national level, and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee at the State level, to demand neutrality and professionalism of security personnel, in order to secure a peaceful environment for the completion of the elections.
“We will also engage with key Stakeholders in Rivers State, with a view to ensuring a smooth and peaceful completion of the process.
“INEC will issue detailed timelines and activities for the completion of the election, on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.”