AHEAD of the December 10 legislative rerun election, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has accused the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission of handing over original copies of result sheets to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, towards an alleged plan to rig the poll.
Wike, who spoke in Etche Local Government Area on Wednesday, alleged that Amaechi made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja during a meeting of Rivers APC leaders.
The governor said that he was in possession of the proceedings of the Abuja “illegal” meeting of the APC.
He alleged that Amaechi assured the Rivers APC leaders at the Abuja meeting that the original result sheets supplied by the INEC would be used for the December 10 rerun elections to facilitate victory for the APC candidates.
“While we are working for the people of Rivers State to convince them to vote for us, the APC is busy working with the INEC to rig the rerun elections.
“On December 10, follow your results bumper to bumper. Don’t allow anyone to swap results. I urge the Etche people to follow their results,” he said.
The governor stated that the Rivers APC members who were arrested while printing fake result sheets for INEC were transferred to Zone 6 Police Command headquarters in Calabar.
He also alleged that arrangements had been concluded to take them to Abuja with a plan to release them in line with the request of the APC.
Wike added, “Tell them, INEC you cannot rig election in Etche. Tell INEC, you cannot support another party to rig the election.”
He said the APC had concluded plans with security agencies to arrest the chairmen of Etche Local Government Area, Ikwerre Local Government Area and other leaders of the party to create room for the rigging of the rerun elections.
Reacting through his media office, Amaechi described Wike’s allegation as wild, baseless and an attempt to intimidate INEC into doing his (governor’s) bidding.
He said, “We know his game; this is an old worn-out trick that will certainly fail. Wike is scared, profoundly afraid. This is why he is telling these spurious lies. He knows he will lose at the polls, if the election is free & fair.”
Also, the state APC Publicity Secretary said, “It is sad that the governor’s grand deception train anchored at Etche to deceive the good people of Etche with a phoney road project flag-off.
“Etche people must follow in the footstep of Ogoni people who have since realised that the governor simply took them for a ride with the flag-off of Sakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road and others.”
Several telephone calls put across to the Rivers State INEC Public Relations Officer, Antonia Nwobo, and a text message were neither answered nor replied.