A pro-Wike group in Rivers State, Wike Continuity Movement (WCM), has condemned in strong terms the invasion of the political landscape in the state by the military during the March 9, 2019 governorship elections.
The group, which made the condemnation during an emergency meeting in Port Harcourt yesterday expressed shock over the indefinite suspension of the electoral process in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the activities of soldiers and other security agencies during the elections.
Making the position of the group known to newsmen shortly after the meeting, Mazi Felix, on behalf of the state Chairman of WCM, Chief Uchenna Okokoba, said the manipulation of the electoral process by soldiers was uncalled for and most unfortunate, and urged INEC to declare the Governor of the state and governorship candidate of the PDP, Chief Nyesom Wike, the winner of the governorship election without further delay.
According to him, members of the group participated in the elections in the 23 local government areas of the state where Governor Wike won the election convincingly in all the polling units.
He said the group condemned in all totality the harassment and unlawful arrest of PDP leaders in the state and urged the military hierarchy to do the needful by investigating and bringing to book those described as men in military uniforms and political thugs, who perpetrated the mayhem on election day.
The group also condemned the statement credited to the governorship candidate of African Action Congress (ACC), Mr Awara Biokpomabo, calling on INEC to declare him winner of the election, saying the statement was a coup d’etat against democracy and an attempt to subvert the will of Rivers people.
The group, therefore, called on the Federal Government, civil society organisations, the international community and all well-meaning Nigerians to call to order the Chief of Army Staff, the military, security agencies and the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, to refrain from the excessive use of power to the detriment of the Rivers people.
He called on members of the group to remain calm and law-abiding, “putting their trust in God, and believing that evil can not triumph over good.”
Members of the group who spoke to The Tide in separate interviews affirmed and corroborated the position of the WCM leadership, insisting that Governor Wike clearly won the election in all the polling units across the state.
Coordinator of the body in Eleme Local Government Area, Hon John Egwim expressed shock over the development and thanked Chief Okokoba for the steps taken so far by the group to put things in proper perspective.
The women leader of the group, Lady Christy Anosike, said she was saddened by the way things were playing out, stressing that the election was free and fair in her ward in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, and wondered why the results had not been declared up till now.
The Chairman of WCM’s Elders Forum, HRH Emmanuel Ogene, also condemned the invasion of the electoral process in the state by the military, saying it was very embarrassing.
Dr Henry Kanu said the election was highly militarised in Oyigbo Local Government Area where he said a youngman was killed, saying, in his unit, PDP won massively, describing the current scenario as a rape of democracy, not only in Rivers State but also in Nigeria.