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Bye-election: Police’ve declared war on Rivers – Gov. Wike

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RIVERS State Governor , Nyesom Wike , said the consistency with which the police interfered with the electoral process in the state was a declaration of war on the people .
This is just as a presidential hopeful of the People Democratic Party , Senator Ahmed Makarfi , on Sunday , asked the All Progressives Congress – led Federal Government to stop the continuous harassment of Wike in the name of politicking .

Wike , who spoke during a state broadcast on Sunday , described Saturday ’ s House of Assembly bye – election for Port Harcourt State Constituency 3 as a failed exercise due to the disruption by the police and armed thugs .

The governor insisted that the armed thugs were working for the All Progressives Congress in the state , calling on Rivers people not to succumb to the antics of the police , lest they become slaves in their fatherland.

“ The consistent sabotage of the electoral process by the police amounts to a declaration of war against the people of Rivers State and their solemn rights to freely and fairly choose their leaders and representatives, ” he said .

Wike said despite assurances from the Rivers State Commissioner of Police during the last State Security Council meeting that the police would remain neutral and act professionally , the police on Saturday , August 18 , 2018 , joined forces with the APC thugs to disrupt the election .

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He stated , “ Instead of providing security for voters and INEC officials , the police brazenly colluded with political thugs of the APC to subvert the democratic process and denied the people of Port Harcourt Constituency 3 their rights to free , fair and credible elections.

“ It is important to note that Ojukaye Amachree , who led the thugs , is the same person facing multiple murder trial and instead of arresting him as ordered by the trial court , the police have continued to aid and shield him from arrest and prosecution . ”

Wike recalled that the June 16 , 2018 local government election , which the APC failed to participate , was conducted peacefully without rancour and added that it was not the first time the police would be indicted during an election in the state .

He pointed out that following the widespread violence that erupted in the 2016 legislative re – run election in Rivers State, the INEC Panel Report ( at page 66 ) indicted the security agencies as “ brazen election riggers ” and singled out the F -SARS Commander , Mr Akin Fakorede , as the arrowhead of the violence and rigging that characterised those elections.

Meanwhile , Makarfi , a former governor of Kaduna State and presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP , claimed that Wike remained the most intimidated state governor in the country , noting that the deployment of federal might to harass him ( Wike ) must stop henceforth .

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The former lawmaker was reacting to the suspended Rivers State bye – election for Port Harcourt Constituency 3 in the Rivers State House of Assembly, which was marred by violence on August 18 , 2019 , forcing the INEC to put a halt to the poll .

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