Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike has blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) and the police of being responsible for all the rigging done during elections in the country.
He stated this on Tuesday at the government house during the visit of the new INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) of the state Mr. Obo Effang.
Wike noted that if the two agencies play by the electoral rules, elections would be credible and peaceful.
The Governor also stated that conflicts arise from elections when INEC fails to do the right thing and bow to the pressure of politicians from the ruling party. He therefore urged INEC to conduct credible polls in 2019
Wike in his statement had charged the REC to resist any attempt by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government to prevail on him to rig the elections on their behalf.
He said: “If you resist it and conduct free and fair elections, every elected officer will have no choice but to perform. If the person does not perform, the person knows that re-election will be difficult.
“You should use this opportunity to avert electoral crisis in Rivers State by conducting credible elections. We are heightening projects delivery because we want to build the confidence of the people that their mandate is not taken for granted. If we are relying on INEC, we will not work for the people.”
However, the Governor stated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State would not bring any pressure on INEC because of the high performance of his administration.
“We don’t have any pressure to bring to you. We have no business to pressurize you. Our business is on the field. To work for the people.
“Those who are doing nothing, but who believe they are in power and they must rig elections are those that will bring pressure to you. Resist that pressure and conduct credible polls,” he told Effanga.
Wike alleged that the former Rivers INEC REC Aniedi Ikiowak was used by the APC federal government to steal the people’s mandate and print fake electoral materials.
“If you rig elections here, anywhere you go, you will not find peace in your life. If you do the right thing, peace will be abundant in your life,” he said.
The governor said that Rivers people, Christians and traditional worshipers are praying fervently against election riggers ahead of the 2019 elections.
According to ThisDay News, he regretted the deceitful nature of INEC and its refusal to place sanctions on Akin Fakorede, despite indicting him for electoral fraud.
Earlier, the new Rivers INEC REC, Effanga, assured the governor that the commission would conduct credible polls in the state.
He urged politicians and other stakeholders to play by the rules and support the process for credible polls.
“We are 248 days to the 2019. INEC is committed to credible polls. But credible elections depend on so many factors including the stakeholders. We expect the stakeholders to play by the rules,” he said.
Effanga said that the state has more than three million registered voters, while 2,172, 467 voters have collected their permanent voters cards.