Rivers State Rerun Marred By Fake Election Materials

Women from communities in Rivers state protest against irregularities in voting in the weekend's election, at Port Harcourt March 30, 2015. The head of Nigeria's election commission admitted on Sunday he was concerned about allegations of irregularities in voting in this weekend's election in southern, oil producing Rivers state, where hundreds of opposition supporters have been protesting. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
Women from communities in Rivers state protest against irregularities in voting in the weekend’s election, at Port Harcourt, March 30, 2015. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Today’s Rivers State rerun election to National And State House Of Assembly (NASS) between the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been marred by fake and copied result sheets in some constituencies such as Akuku-Toru, Tai, and Bonny areas.

The election is holding in three senatorial districts, 12 House of Representative constituencies, and 22 of the 32 State Assembly constituencies.

Some residents who had come out en mass to exercise their political right on Saturday in the accredited polling unites in Rivers State, revealed that the election which was supposed to commence at 12 noon couldn’t start due to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s failure to arrive early.

Nyesom Wike, Governor of the State, voted at Ward 9 unit 7, around Whimpy junction in Obi Akpor, while Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, also voted at ward 8, unit 14 in Ubima, Ikwerre LGA.

Presence of security operatives were noticed in some areas notorious for violence in order to ensure peace and harmony.

However, there are reports of election violence in Ikwerre and Asari Toru local government areas (LGAs) which have forced some of the adhoc staff of INEC to boycott the election.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in a tweet on its handle @PdpNigeria also quoted the Andoni people as saying that, “All materials brought to our Ward are all fake. Reporting from unit 12 Ward 3 Andoni LGA.”

The PDP said: “No elections in Bonny. Result sheets handed to all electoral officers are fake. Materials have been returned to INEC.”

In addition, hours to National and Rivers State Assembly rerun election, gunmen have abducted a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Elyon Ntiro Elijah in Andoni local Government area of the state. The circumstances of the kidnapping of Elyon Ntiro Elijah remain sketchy at press time.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission has dismissed as false the allegations that fake result sheets were in circulation in Akuku-Toru, Tai, and Bonny local government areas, for the ongoing rerun elections in Rivers. Stating in a message posted to its Twitter account shortly afterwards, “The allegations are untrue and they should be discountenanced.”