Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says the face-off between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State is “nothing that is abnormal”.
Recall that the APC had alleged that thugs sponsored by the PDP had attacked its members during their visit to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in the state.
However, the ruling party in the state has been engaged in protests for about a week, stating that INEC should release the electoral materials to APC for inspection only if the PDP is also present.
Speaking during a live media chat on Tuesday in Port Harcourt the state capital, Wike stated that PDP was simply being on alert to avoid a recurrence of an incident in the aftermath of the 2015 elections.
The governor said the PDP was shocked that the police tendered original results at the tribunal, rather than the Certified True Copies (CTCs) of the original.
He said: “There is nothing that is abnormal that you think that is going on in Port Harcourt. What PDP is doing is just being 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.
“Everybody was shocked: ‘How would the police tender original results?’ And INEC had its 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.”
Wike argued that the PDP needs to ensure it is receiving what other parties are getting since every party is entitled to the documents that were used in conducting elections having applied to INEC.
He added: “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. () ”