Nonviolence, Voter Apathy, Bad Weather Trail Rivers LG Poll
The just concluded Rivers State Local Government Elections carried out on Saturday, June 16, was reportedly characterised by nonviolence, voter apathy and heavy and light showers in various locations of the state.
ElombahNews gathered that the election lacked violence, but that low turnout of voters, as well as heavy downpour disrupted the election in certain areas.
Despite the unfavourable conditions, however, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike commended the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) “for conducting credible Local Government Elections across the state”.
The governor also commended security agencies for ensuring that the elections were peaceful by creating the right atmosphere for peaceful polls.
Governor Wike spoke in an interview after monitoring the local government elections in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
He said that the non-participation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the elections turned out to be one of the reasons why the process was peaceful.
He said: “Sixty-six out of sixty-eight political parties participated, but no violence. That means that if APC had participated, probably we would have seen violence.
“Sixty-six political parties, no violence, no shooting, nobody has died.
“But if the APC had participated, they would want to coerce security agencies, they would do all manners of negative things like bringing cultists to shoot. You can see that nobody hijacked materials.
“Everything has been peaceful “.
The governor noted that the security agencies played their constitutional roles during the elections.
“I have called the heads of security agencies and commended them for a job well done. That is what I have always said. Allow people to vote for those they want”.
He noted that the message to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is that they can conduct credible elections if they resist pressures from different quarters.
“INEC can be committed to do the right thing. Once they build confidence, every other thing will move on smoothly “, the governor said.
Governor Wike said that he was more interested in the peaceful and credible conduct of the elections than anything else.
“We have gone round two local government areas. The elections went on peacefully and they were credible.
Election materials arrived on time , except for a few places. Like this, nobody will complain. Observers from across the board have commended the process “, Governor Wike said.
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