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Sunday, 3 September 2017

APC, police and electoral fraud

By Simeon Nwakaudu 
Each  time issues are raised about the corruption and fraud being perpetrated by the Police and INEC in the Rivers electoral process, the Rivers APC rises up in shameful defence  of the two failing national institutions. 
This  is understandable. The Rivers APC  is not  on ground  in the state. 
Unfortunately, the Rivers APC  fails  to address the issues  raised. They prefer to rain insults on the office and person of Governor Wike.
Once again, the leadership  of the Rivers APC  has risen up to the defence of the Police and INEC, over the Rivers East  Senatorial District where the police certified and tendered results to the Election Tribunal, which formed the basis upon  which Senator George Thompson Sekibo was removed from office by the Court of Appeal. 
The facts are clear. At the risk of repetition, let me outline them once again. Senator George Thompson Sekibo won the elections through valid votes cast during the December 10, 2016 Rerun Election.  The Independent National Electoral Commission  (INEC ) declared him duly elected. Instead  of contesting  that result, the Rivers APC approached  the Police High Command for concocted  results of the same election. The Police manufactured  results for Rivers East Senatorial District, using the same serial numbers as INEC.  These results  cooked by the Police High Command were relied upon  by the tribunal. These facts have  not been controverted by the APC. Throwing tantrums  cannot change this political robbery  masterminded  by the APC, the Nigerian Police and INEC. 
APC’s penchant  for lies has become  an international  embarrassment for Nigeria. However, Rivers APC’s ridiculous attempt  to justify this daylight robbery  of the mandate of the people of Rivers East beats all forms of logic. 
Are the leaders of the Rivers APC  saying that the constitutional  responsibility  for the declaration of election results  now rests with their allies, the Police? Are they saying that serial numbers  on INEC result sheets can be freely  used by the police to manufacture  results? These are questions that must be answered by the Police, the Rivers APC and INEC.  This matter wont go away  because the  APC can haul insults  and buy media space.
These are the issues that Governor Wike  raised  during his meeting  with Okrika leaders  and at the Thanksgiving Service in honour of Senator George Thompson Sekibo.
These are  the words of Governor Wike to Okrika Leaders: “Remember, last year , I raised an alarm that INEC and Police were planning to rig the rerun elections. We caught people printing INEC result sheets and reported the matter.  Somebody was arrested. They sent  the person to Zone 6 Calabar and granted him bail. Till now, they are  yet to complete investigations into that  critical  matter.
“INEC declared results. All of us know that if elections are held twenty times, Senator George Thompson Sekibo will win. INEC printed their own  result  sheets, same serial numbers, these people printed their own  result sheets with same INEC  serial numbers.  You ask yourself, how did they get to know INEC serial numbers.  Because  they could not smuggle in their own result sheets, INEC declared the authentic results. 
“Unknown to us, they had gone to connive with the police. That tells  you what they  want to do in 2019. Thank God, they  have alerted us. Instead of them to write INEC to give  them the certified true copies of the result sheets, they  went to the police. Police are now in custody  of INEC results.  Police certified their own and gave them “.
At the Thanksgiving Service in honour of Senator George Thompson Sekibo, Governor Wike reiterated  that Rivers people  will resist any attempt to use security  operatives  to rig elections  in Rivers State. 
This position is in line with the constitutional  responsibility of all well-meaning Nigerians to stop political armed robbers from stealing the mandate of the people.
Without doubt, the man facilitated by the police to  represent Rivers East Senatorial District did not win on the field.  He is representing  those who helped him to steal the  mandate, not the Senatorial District. 
Under the leadership of Ibrahim Idris, the Nigerian Police  has turned  into the enemy of the people. The Police are now agents of the  APC, using state power to promote crime against the people.
The Police under the leadership of Ibrahim Idris is now a mandate trading company. I am not surprised that Rivers APC are  shouting to distract  the attention  of Nigerians from this crime.
On December 12, 2016, Rivers Special Anti-Robbery Squad Commander, Akin Fakorede, under the  directive of IGP Idris attempted  to rob the collated results at the Rivers East Senatorial District. These Police operatives beat INEC, but were resisted by the people.
When this mandate robbery attempt failed, the Police High Command took a step never imagined.  They colluded with INEC to cook up results outside  of the authentic  results declared at the Senatorial District Collation Centre.  
Rather than bring Akin Fakorede  to justice, IGP Ibrahim Idris facilitated his promotion to the  rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
As I write, IGP Ibrahim Idris  is enmeshed  in the worst scandal ever to engulf  a police chief. The Senate Committee Chairman on Navy, Senator Isah Hamma Misau alleged that IGP Ibrahim Idris is neck-deep in crime, promotion/posting racketeering and bribery . According to him, the IGP makes about N120billion IGP makes up to N10bn monthly from oil companies, banks and private individuals who enjoy special protection from the security agency. While I am in no position to pass judgment on the weighty allegations of Senator Misau against the embattled IGP, I want to say with all sense of responsibility  that Rivers people know the ugly side of the IGP. During  the December 10, 2016 Rerun Elections, the IGP used the Police to unleash  mayhem, snatch results, kill and maim Rivers people, just because he was doing the bidding  of the APC. 
The IGP is the least person to talk about integrity. In saner climes, he would be compelled to step aside for independent investigations  on these weighty allegations  and other pending issues. The concoction of Rivers East Senatorial District results alongside INEC, being one of them.
In terms of performance, Governor Wike  remains Nigeria’s most outstanding  governor in the area of projects  delivery, payment  of salaries and pensions and the empowerment of the people. Till date, the APC has refused to  take up Governor Wike’s  challenge for an independent  peer review between Rivers State and their governors  in terms of projects and programmes for the good of the  people.
The APC  must realise that  power belongs  to the people.  Nobody will allow a group of failed politicians to use the security  agencies  to steal the  mandate of the people, again.
Governor Wike is focused on cleaning the mess of the APC in Rivers State. For eight years, the immediate past Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi  squandered N3trillion  that accrued  to the state. He left 4 months of unpaid salaries and six months of unpaid pensions. Instead of developing critical infrastructure, he used the state funds to sponsor the APC at all levels across  the country.
Today, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is working round the clock to transform Rivers State.  Key road projects are either underway or completed in Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor, Abua/Odual, Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Akuku Toru, Degema, Etche, Andoni, Opobo/Nkoro, Ikwerre, Emohua, Khana, Gokana, Okrika, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Oyigbo, and Tai Local Government Areas of the State.
The Rivers State Government is reconstructing and furnishing 175 Primary and Junior Secondary Schools in all the 23 Local Government Areas. 
In each  of the local government areas, local contractors were engaged to execute these projects. These local contractors have in turn engaged different cadres of skilled and  unskilled labour.  Rural economies  are also positively impacted.
There is also the total rehabilitation and equpping of 13 General and Zonal Hospitals across the state. Add this to the upgrade  and reconstruction  of five major secondary  schools  in the three senatorial districts.
These projects have been distributed  to create jobs in different communities.
As a responsible government, the Wike administration has made  the greatest investment  in security.  It has funded security operations, logistics and  supported the setting up of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army. With close to 200 patrol vans and over 20 gunboats donated to the security agencies , the State Governmemt  has continued  to develop  the state’s  security infrastructure to meet emerging  challenges.  The state amnesty programme  has been  quite successful. 
As Nigerians, we are  living witnesses that the present administration  has weakened federal institutions such as the security agencies and INEC.  These institutions, especially  the Police and INEC have become rigging cartels, recklessly  bold in their quest  to defraud Nigerians.
Their collusion to deny the people of Rivers East Senatorial District their preferred  representation  is a wake up call to other Nigerians.
These electoral criminals have  been  embolden by their successful  robbery and they may want to pull another stunt in 2019. For the people of Rivers State, Governor Wike has given them a charge….wake up and protect your mandate from political  robbers, masquerading as police and INEC officials.
Governor Wike captures the situation thus:
“Instead of bringing change as they promised, things are getting worse. They have introduced extreme fraud in the country, especially  denying the people their mandate. 
“2019, they will not succeed. As far as we are concerned, we have no senator in Rivers East. The man going there has no  capacity to represent us. All of us should be  ready. We should be praying to God, but ready to fight”.
“Nobody  should be afraid of the Police or Army, because  liberty comes with a price. They have nothing to campaign with outside  the use of security.  I am ready to place myself on line, nobody will take Rivers State “.
The APC has nothing to show for their 27 months in government , other than lies and propaganda.  They have no achievements  aside turning national institutions  to centres of crime and fraud.
It will take decades for Nigeria  to recover  from the unfortunate poor governance model, electoral fraud and corruption that APC has  injected into Nigeria.


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