Rivers post-election crisis is ‘nothing abnormal’ – Gov Wike
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, has described the face-off between his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state as “nothing that is abnormal.”
According to Vanguard, Wike disclosed this during a live media chat in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The Rivers governor stated that PDP was simply being on alert to avoid a recurrence of an incident in the aftermath of the 2015 elections.
Recall that the APC in the state, while requesting the inspection of electoral materials deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the March 18 governorship election, had alleged attacks by thugs operating on the orders of the PDP.
However, the ruling party in the state has been engaged in protests for about a week, demanding that INEC release the electoral materials to APC for inspection only if the PDP is also present.
But responding to the state post-election crisi, Wike said, “There is nothing that is abnormal that you think that is going on in Port Harcourt. What PDP is doing is just to be vigilant.
“Vigilant in the sense that during the 2015 [post-election period] precisely, after the elections, after the nomination, we had problems that we never believed, and so we didn’t want a recurrence of that at the tribunal.”
The governor said the PDP was shocked that the police tendered original results at the tribunal, rather than CTCs of the original.
He said, “Everybody was shocked: ‘How would the police tender original results?’ And INEC had their own certified true copies. INEC tendered their own.
“To our greatest surprise, the court accepted the police’s original results. It was surprising to us, down to the Court of Appeal and we have seen this happen several times. Remember what happened in Imo State.”
According to him, Rivers PDP needs to be “extra vigilant.”
Wike argued that since every party is entitled to the documents that were used in conducting elections, having applied to INEC, the PDP needs to ensure it is receiving what others too get.
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He said, “And we now said to INEC, ‘We will know whether what you’re giving to us is what you’re giving to these parties. Note all the parties and sign for it, so we’ll know that you’re giving exactly the same you have given to these people.’
“But we don’t want what happened last time to reoccur. You can’t have two Michaels at the same time. So, all these things you are hearing that the APC is shouting is because they know that game they played the last time, we will not allow it to happen again,” Wike added.