Factional PDP Thugs Go On Rampage In Rivers State; Disrupt Polls And Alter Results In LGAs


Factional PDP Thugs Go On Rampage In Rivers State; Disrupt Polls And Alter Results In LGAs:

The Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council is shocked to note the horrendous resort to Thug violence and compromise of electoral personnel by Nyesom Wike’s faction of the People’s Democratic Party to obstruct the elections or abort the outcome in most parts of Rivers State yesterday.

Field reports across the 23 LGAs and 319 Wards indicate the same operational pattern with election materials designated for the Wards either hijacked from the INEC RAC Centres by thugs hired by Local Government Council Chairmen or INEC officials were brought under pressure not to upload Unit results from the field. Recalling that Governor Wike had in course of the week threatened to sack every Council Chairman who failed to deliver his LGA as instructed, these unlawful and shocking developments were not unexpected.


Working to save their jobs, Council Chairmen and officials of the State Government threw caution to winds in the deployment of Thugs armed with dangerous weapons and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to run amok in most LGAs. In Degema for instance, elections could not hold in more than three of the six Wards in Bakana and four Wards of Tombia because both election materials and the personnel posted by INEC were nowhere in sight. In the case of Bakana, voting did not start until 2pm when INEC officials finally showed up with the materials at Ward 1. Voting also commenced in Ward 2 very late while there was no hope that election would hold in Wards 3, 4 and 6 in Bakana and 7, 8, 9 and 10 in Tombia at 5:44pm with the Electoral Officer in charge of Degema sounding helpless. As at 4:36am this morning, materials and Adhoc Staff deployed to three units of Ward 2 were still in Bakana.

Excuses of unavailability of boats to convey materials and men to destinations were rife by officials of the INEC even though the Commission handled its own logistics.

In Abalama, Ward 11 of Asari Toru Local Government Area, PDP thugs freely used dynamite explosions to break the resistance of opposition party agents who insisted that Election personnel move with the materials to the polling centres for the electorate to exercise their franchise. Having unleashed terror, they bolted away with the materials. Abalama is the home town of the Commissioner for Works, Rivers State, Dr. Dax Alabo George Kelly.


The same violence and drama of the absurd was recorded in Ikwerre Local Government Area where the Council Chairman, Dr. Samuel Nwanosike, led thugs to shoot at and force a disruption of declaration of already collated results at Igwuruta. At Oginigba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, enraged citizens besieged the country home of the Council Chairman, Barr. George Ariolu, who hijacked materials and some INEC personnel into his home.

In the same Obio/Akpor, the State Governor himself was seen moving across the units from his Rumuepirikom in Ward 9 to the Wards at Rumuigbo to forcefully hijack election materials when it became clear from the collated but yet to be uploaded results that the patriotic Rivers electorate had defied his instructions on what direction to vote for President.

Sadly, pressurized by the Council Chairmen and State Government officials into compromising either the voter accreditation and results uploading processes where materials managed to arrive at designated centres, INEC officials yielded grounds. Complaints about inability to upload collated results at the units or activating the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines to have voters accredited at the commencement of polls were rife in most polling units were elections held. This is unacceptable to us and majority of Rivers voters as it frustrates the process to eliminate the human element in electoral corruption that the new Electoral Act seeks to eliminate.

As the leading opposition party in Rivers State, we insist that these reported developments are harmful to democracy. We cannot afford an election system where government officials at both the State and LGA levels brazenly hijack elections materials and INEC personnel or forcefully truncate the declaration of results. We warn that we shall not accept results which do not reflect the expressed wishes of Rivers people at the respective polling Units yesterday.


As we head to the very crucial March 11 governorship and State House of Assembly elections, the Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council calls on Police and other security agencies deployed to provide a safe environment for the electorate to raise their game. They must work to script with the dictates of the Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 to save our democracy. We also urge international and local elections observers to be truly independent and refuse to be cowed by the intimidating tactics of a government that has deployed a mob approach to the elections, having been roundly rejected by the people. Election monitors have a duty to report the malfeasance recorded yesterday to discourage a repeat of same at the next cycle of elections in a fortnight. Rivers people deserve the Governor and representatives they vote for and not persons desperate politicians or corrupt officials work to impose on them.

Sogbeye C. Eli
Spokesman, Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council

February 26, 2023.

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