Rivers monarchs to INEC: don’t announce manipulated results

Traditional Rulers in Rivers state have asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare results of last Saturday’s Governorship elections to douse tensions.

The royal fathers, who spoke under the aegis of Rivers state Council of Traditional Rulers, said the results should be announced on units and wards basis.

They warned any of the results tampered with and manipulated should not be declared but set aside.

The royal fathers stated these in a statement in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Tuesday.

Speaking through their Chairman, who is also the Amayanabo of Opobo, King Douglas Dandeson Jaja, they condemned the alleged involvement of the military and SARS personnel in election processes in the state.

They called on the Federal Government and security agencies to call their men to order.

“We urge INEC to declare all verifiable results and immediately look into only compromised results on units and wards basis, where boxes were snatched by thugs or military personnel.

“We cannot go through round of elections at a later date. INEC must ensure that collated results are declared and not tampered with by third parties,” the monarch said.

They regretted the militarisation of Rivers communities, lamenting innocent residents were harrassed, arrested and detained for no offence.

“What we have today is a few government appointees using federal apparatus, including men in uniform to cause chaos and breakdown of law and order.

“Our people who have attempted to resist such illegality have either been arrested or dealt with extra judicially.

“We are sad to note that in many kingdoms and communities, the uniformed or military men were actively involved in giving cover to politicians and their thugs who are carting ballot boxes and result sheets.

“There are also allegations that some of these uniformed personnel are ‘fake soldiers ‘ but the real soldiers have not arrested any of the so called fake soldiers involved in these dastardly act

They described as deafening the silence of the National Peace Committee headed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The monarchs wondered why the committee has failed to call all parties and the military to order for breaching the peace.

They said parties cannot be asked to accept results of elections brazenly rigged, manipulated and falsified in an atmosphere of Intimidation and violence.’’

The monarchs wondered how the military took over the Rivers State INEC Headquarters and even fought the police and attempted hijacking results from Local Government Areas.

“We need peace in Rivers State. The people’s will must prevail. The military must remove itself from directly participating in our elections.

“The Nigerian Army must immediately identify and arrest the so called political thugs in military uniforms,” they said.

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