Posted by News Express | 19 July 2016 | 2,379 times
Leading civil society groups and some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tuesday protested at the Rivers State Judiciary and Assembly complexes in Port Harcourt.
The groups protested what they referred to as corruption by some members of the Rivers State Judiciary which has led to some suspect judicial actions and pronouncements that have stalled the swearing-in of Hon. Victoria Nyeche of Port Harcourt Constituency I and Hon. Andrew Miller of Opobo/Nkoro Constituency both in the Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA).
The mass action commenced as early as 7 a.m when protesters started gathering around the General Post Office area adjacent to the judiciary complex under the watchful eye of security men at a distance. At about 8 a.m the mammoth crowd led by notable civil society leaders and APC chieftains matched to the gate of the judiciary and later moved to the Rivers State House of Assembly Complex where the leaders addressed the crowd.
It would be recalled that despite various tribunal and appeal court rulings declaring the two APC members, winners of their State Constituency elections and subsequent issuance of Certificate of Return by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly has refused to swear the two individuals into office hinging his action on purported pronouncements of certain courts in Rivers State.
However, in a swift reaction, Rivers PDP accused APC of embarking on the protest in the hope of scuttling the rescheduled re-run elections “to make up for its unpreparedness.”
The ploy, according to Rivers PDP Chairman, , Bro Felix Obuah, through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Jerry Needam include cooking up fallacies and spurious allegations, and using such as basis for state-wide protests against the July 30, 2016 concluding re-run elections in the remaining eight Local Areas of the State.
The State PDP boss said he had before the discovery wondered why both the APC and its candidates for the re-run elections have not been campaigning like their PDP counterparts but rather shown complacency, remained unmoved and less concerned about the upcoming elections.
The ploy, Bro Obuah noted, centred mainly on giving names and blackmailing some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC who, they have not been able to buy over, wanting only compromised INEC officials who will do their bidding during the elections besides making unguarded and provocative statements against the PDP and its candidates for the elections.
This, the State PDP chairman further observed, is a sign that the APC is not ready for any election and rather than suffer defeat and disgrace as usual which is sure, prefers the “vacuum status-quo” to subsist.
“Unfortunately for them, we and indeed the Rivers people know better and cannot fall into such ill-conceived snare. We are ready as ever for the re-run elections and will not have the elections compromised in whatever guise whether by the APC or the INEC officials they are rooting for”, Bro Obuah declared.
The State PDP Chairman has therefore urged all stakeholders, the Rivers people and the electoral umpire, INEC, not to be deceived by the new APC antics but to join hands to ensure that the elections are not only held but also conducted freely and fairly as the only way to sustain the prevailing peace across the State.
“May we also sound it loud and clear that nobody or group has the monopoly of taking to the streets rightly or wrong to protest perceived injustice. Should the APC therefore make bold to proceed with the unnecessary protest against the re-run election as a cover for not being ready for the electoral contest, the PDP will surely respond with even greater vigour.
But suffice it to say that the PDP is fully ready for the elections and will win, hoping that nothing funny will be allowed to scuttle the exercise next week”, Bro Obuah warned.
•Photo shows Governor Wike.
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