The Accord Party in Rivers State has said it will not accept the results of the March 9, 2019 governorship election as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The party described the results of the governorship election, which saw the reelection of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as the product of militarised election processes, armed thuggery, compromised election umpire and a massively disenfranchised electorate.
Chairman of Accord Party in the state, Nnanna Onyekwere, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, alleged that highly placed politicians in the state displayed crass impunity, through the imposition of candidates and the primitive orchestration of crisis in opponents’ camps- acts known to INEC and tacitly encouraged by the election umpire.
The statement reads in part: “The Rivers State chapter of Accord therefore rejects in its entirety, the Rivers State governorship result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on April 3, 2019 and also rejects the national and state assembly results as announced due to the following reasons:
“That whereas Accord, in Rivers State, duly conducted its governorship primaries through an election panel mandated by its National Working Committee on October 4, 2018, in which Mr Nelson Amieye was returned by way of consensus and whereas Mr Nelson Amieye voluntarily withdrew and was lawfully and duly substituted by Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, corrupt officials of INEC contrived a report purporting to have supervised another primary on the same day, which produced one Precious Baridoo, knowing fully well that the national working committee of Accord did not invite INEC to such an event and venue.
“That the contrived and unauthorised primaries allegedly supervised by corrupt INEC officials, enabled Precious Baridoo and his sponsors to lay claim to the governorship ticket of Accord, thereby confusing the electorate and causing grave damage to the fortunes of the party in Rivers State.
“That the INEC fact-finding committee set up after the suspension of the March 9, 2019 governorship and house of assembly elections, neither invited Accord nor acknowledged the party’s petition to the committee.
“That despite publishing the name of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs on its final list as the Rivers State governorship candidate of Accord and having been duly served with the stay of execution granted by the Federal Appeal Court on March 22, 2019 against the High Court ruling that set aside the candidature of Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, INEC did not allow his agents into the resumed collation of result of April 2, 2019 and did not mention his name on the final result as announced on April 3, 2019.
“That Rivers people were not allowed to vote in the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections due to pervading violence that left the elections inconclusive in several state and national constituencies.
“Again on March 9, 2019, the Rivers electorate was not allowed to exercise its fundamental right to vote as was succinctly enunciated by INEC in its press statement of March 10, 2019 suspending the entire election process based on reports from its officials in the field about widespread disruption of elections and violence.
“That we are shocked that INEC proceeded with the March 9, 2019 elections by collating figures purportedly generated from an election which were, according to INEC, marred by violence in substantial polling units.
“That the improper conduct of some principal staff of INEC in Rivers State makes it extremely difficult for us to accept that the figures so collated (having been in INEC custody since March 10, 2019), actually emanated from the polling units despite the widespread violence of March 9, 2019, considering that all polling officials had since dispersed to their homes due to the alarm raised by the electoral umpire.
“That there were conflicting claims of collated results from INEC, the AAC and the SDP. The AAC claims that it was leading in 15 LGAs before the suspension of results but INEC had a contrary view. The SDP also published its own results on the social media.
“Unfortunately, before it suspended the entire electoral process, INEC did not deem it fit to announce the LGAs it claimed were already collated and the figures involved, thereby creating huge doubts about its credibility.”