Rivers Rerun: Wike Is A Threat To Democracy – Amaechi

Amaechi-Nyesom-WikeThe war of words between Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi and Governor Nyesom Wike over the recent rerun elections in Rivers State continued yesterday with the latter describing the governor as a threat to democracy and free and fair elections in the state.
The National and State Assembly Appeal Court-ordered rerun elections were marred by bloodshed and violence with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, vowing not to return to the state to conclude the exercise until the atmosphere is conducive.
In the aftermath of the exercise, the contending parties in the elections, the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party traded accusations with either one refusing to accept responsibility for the violence that claimed the life of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Samuel Okonta, who was an INEC ad-hoc staff, and others.
Last week, in an interview with THISDAY, Gov. Wike, who is the PDP leader in the state, accused Amaechi, the immediate past governor of the state and APC leader, of being behind the violence that characterized the polls.
The governor, who alleged that the INEC was plotting to release some of the results in the eight local government areas in favour of the APC so as to save the minister from embarrassment, claimed the PDP won elections in the former governor’s local government area, Ikwerre.
But Amaechi insisted that the election in Ikwerre was inconclusive “because thugs sent by Wike violently disrupted the collation of votes for the LGA”.
He also dismissed the governor’s allegation as riotous, disgraceful and shameful.
“His resort to blackmail, threats and more violence is a clear danger to the practise of democracy, to free and fair elections in Rivers State”, the minister’s media office said in a statement.
It quoted the minister as saying: “You would recall that Wike has been threatening INEC and INEC officials. Before the re-run elections, he threatened INEC officials coming to conduct the elections to write their wills before coming as if they were coming to die in Rivers State.
“Sadly, an INEC ad hoc staff, a youth corper was murdered. This is a classic case of the owl crying in the night and the baby not waking up in the morning.
“He threatened INEC before the elections and an INEC official sent to conduct election was murdered on election day, what other evidence do we need to know who is responsible for the death of the INEC official?”
“Wike is loose cannon, threatening INEC with violence, fire and brimstone. This is intolerable and completely unacceptable. No democracy can survive with Wike’s kind of attitude and disposition to elections.
“Wike can’t just go on and on threatening crisis, war and more violence just because of his desperation to win elections.”
On Amaechi’s LGA, Ikwerre LGA elections that Wike claimed PDP won, the Minister said: “The problem in Ikwerre LGA elections was caused by the same Wike who sent his goons to the LGA collation centre to disrupt the collation.
“The collating officer for the LGA, Dr. Allwell Egeonu told the press and it is on video, that he was lucky to escape alive as thugs, hoodlums invaded the Ikwerre LGA collation centre in Isiokpo, that they were shooting for over 30 minutes and everybody had to run for their lives.
“The Wike goons took away all the materials. According to the INEC Collating official, nothing was collated in Ikwerre LGA. And this man’s story is on tape. He spoke to the media.
“The Collating Officer for Ikwerre LGA also went to the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, reported what happened and also wrote about it to the State REC.”
“So what result for Ikwerre LGA is Wike talking about? The man INEC sent to collate the results for the LGA, Dr. Egeonu says there is no result for the LGA because he didn’t collate anything, yet Wike is all over the place disgracing himself that Amaechi lost his LGA.
“He’s all over the place, threatening crisis, threatening INEC with fire and brimstone, for INEC to release a result that does not even exist, in the first place. You can now understand the kind of desperate fellow we are dealing with here. This must not be allowed to continue. Wike cannot hold an entire state, hostage. He’s a clear danger and threat to the practice of democracy, and free and fair elections in Rivers State”.

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