- Governor Nyesom Wike has raised an alarm over INEC's alleged intention to print illegal ballot papers for Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states in order to exclude certain newly registered political parties
- However, the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, has assured Wike that the commission would not engage in any sort of election rigging
- Oyekanmi asserted that INEC is doing its utmost to ensure that the 2019 elections will be successful
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state on Friday, February 9, said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had adopted two strategies with the intention of rigging the 2019 elections in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike stated that INEC plans to print unauthorised ballot papers for Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states so as to remove certain newly registered political parties as a basis for the nullification of the elections of the three states, New Telegraph reports.
The governor also alleged that the federal government intends to use security forces to cause confusion and violence on the day of the governorship elections in the three states.
Upon his reception of a letter of nomination as 'Independent Newspapers Political Icon of the Year 2017', Wike claimed that credible intelligence available to Rivers state government showed that the indiscriminate registration of new political parties by INEC is is suspicious.
He said: “All the mass registration of new political parties is deliberate plan by INEC to manipulate elections in the three states.
“Rivers state, Akwa Ibom and Delta states have been earmarked for the printing of ballot papers where some newly registered political parties will be excluded as a ground for the nullification of the elections by the tribunal.
"After the nullification by the tribunal as planned, EFCC will be used by the APC-led federal government to arrest the three governors, so that they will not be around during the repeat elections.”
Furthermore, he said that the entire struggle to hold the presidential election ahead of elections is one of the schemes at rigging the polls.
Wike also the APC-led administration had performed badly. That is why, according to him, it has nothing on ground to campaign with, except to use INEC and security agencies to its advantage.
In his words: “APC is not a political party in the true sense of the word. It is a congregation of people who did not want former President Goodluck Jonathan to continue in office for personal reasons.
“The fight against Jonathan was not in the interest of Nigeria. They have realised their mistakes, but they lack the courage to apologise because of their ego. If you move around, you will see that things are bad.”
The governor urged journalists to sensitise Nigerians on the need to elect a credible federal government in 2019.
However, the chief press secretary (CPS) to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the governor should put aside his fears and suspicions concerning INEC's conduct in the forthcoming elections.
Oyekanmi said: “Since 2015, this commission has conducted well over 175 different types of election, and it is only one or two that have been nullified by the court, not nullified in the sense of ‘go and do another election’ but they are saying that we should issue certificate of return to no other person other than those who won.
“I think the commission has demonstrated, in the last three years, that we are committed to conducting transparent, fair and credible elections. His Excellency can rest assured that he has nothing to fear; Nigerians have nothing to fear. We will ensure that only votes can count.
"The INEC chairman always says that only votes will count in any election conducted by INEC under his watch.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disclosed that the results of the 2019 general elections will be transmitted electronically, via the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT).
The development was made public by Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman, during a working visit to the NIGCOMSAT headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Wednesday, February 7.
INEC official at Abuja court - on NAIJ.com TV: