By Kalada Jumbo
Rivers State PDP Campaign Council has accused the APC Federal Government and security agencies of plotting to unleash violence and scuttle the peaceful conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections scheduled for February 23, 2019.
The Rivers State PDP Campaign Council specifically fingered Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, General Officer Commanding the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarham and the Rivers State SARs Commander, ACP Akin Fakorede as being the ring leaders of the planned violence.
Addressing journalists at the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council headquarters, Director General of the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council , Ambassador Desmond Akawor outlined all the negative actions and plots taken by the APC Federal Government and the security agencies to scuttle credible polls in the state.
The Press Statement was titled: “PLOT BY THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC) TO CAUSE HAVOC, DESTABILIZE, RIG AND ABORT THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN RIVERS STATE”.
He said: “These actions by the APC, INEC, the security agencies and the Federal Government clearly point to the undisputable conclusion that the plot by the APC to scuttle the general elections in Rivers State is real and must be taken seriously and prevented by all well-meaning Nigerians and the international community before it degenerates into major crisis.
“We are also aware that the military has planned to cordon off collation centres across the State and prevent PDP agents’ access to these centres in order to rig the rescheduled elections on Saturday February 23 2019.
“Information available to us indicates that APC has procured armed thugs, military uniforms and branded military and police vehicles for the purpose of rigging the rescheduled elections.
” It should therefore be noted that the partisan involvement and activities of Major General Sarham and his soldiers are contrary to the code of conduct for military officers issued by the Nigerian military high command as well as the INEC guidelines and international best practices”.
The Director General of PDP Campaign Council added: “True to character and in line with their defined strategies, Mr. Akin Fakorede and his SARS team were seen arresting indiscriminately, supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Khana, Gokana, Tai, Eleme and some other Local Government Areas of the State on Friday February 15, 2019 even when the elections had not commenced and without reasonable cause.
“Sadly, the said Major General Sarham in conjunction with Mr. Akin Fakorede and SARS operatives have also been detailed to track, arrest and detain leaders of the PDP across the State from Thursday 21st February 2019 until after the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday 23rd of February 2019 to actualize their plan to rig the elections in the State”.
Akawor said that on Tuesday February 12 2019, the Minister of Transportation and Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi renewed the APC’s threat at its presidential Campaign Rally in Port Harcourt and arrogantly promised to deal with the Governor of Rivers State and the PDP.
He said: “Whilst the APC and its leaders continue to publicly declare their perverted intentions to take the laws into their hands and disrupt the general elections in Rivers State with maximum violence, neither the security agencies nor the Presidency have deemed it necessary to reprimand, investigate, caution and or arrest and prosecute the Transportation Minister, Prince Tonye Princewill and the leadership of the APC on the possible consequences of their outrageous and inciting utterances, threats and hate speeches to the peace, public order and security of lives and property in the State.
“Instead, we have started witnessing concerted efforts by the APC, INEC and the security agencies, especially the Nigerian Army and the Police to actualize both the intent and content of the dangerous agenda of the APC to truncate the electoral processes in the State, as we get closer to the election dates.
“For instance, on Friday 15 February 2019, 24 hours to the now rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections, the APC-led Federal Government deployed full military arsenal to cordon off, overrun and prevent voters and normal residents from getting to the Local Government Areas of Akuku Toru, Andoni, Asari Toru, Bonny, Degema, Okrika and Opobo/Nkoro.”
The PDP said as a responsible party, the PDP is desirous of ensuring that the general elections are peaceful, orderly and credible in Rivers State.
The PDP noted that the peaceful nature of PDP, should not be mistaken for cowardice. Akawor said that the PDP will defend the right of Rivers mandate.
He said “Let no one therefore take our obedience to the rule of law and constitutionality in the pursuit of our democratic rights to vote and be voted for through the electoral process as an act of cowardice, acquiescence or capitulation to intimidation, lawless behavior and dictatorship. No one has the monopoly of violence.
“We have the capacity and the will to mobilize our teaming supporters to resist intimidation and defend the collective rights of our people in Rivers State to effectively participate in the democratic process and frustrate those who are bent on denying our democratic rights, as expressly guaranteed by our constitution”.