The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State on Wednesday boasted that the outcome of the presidential election, was ‘a true victory’.
Though the party lost in the state, it said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was unable to “allocate imaginary votes”.
The PDP won in the state with 473,971 to defeat the All Progressives Congress which had 150,710 votes in the presidential election held last Saturday.
In the 2015 presidential election, APC polled an insignificant 69,238 against PDP’s 1.4 million.
Speaking during a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, a co-coordinator of the APC presidential campaign in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, suggested that the outcome of the last election was indication that the results from previous elections were incredible.
“All that is required of anyone desirous of the truth is to compare the 2015 electoral figures where total votes cast was 1,584,768 with APC getting 69,238 while PDP got 1,487,075; to that of 2019 where total votes cast was 666,585 with APC getting 150,710 (even after 72,000 votes in Emohua was unconstitutionally removed) and PDP getting 473,971 and the story would clearly unfold,” said Mr Cole, an oil tycoon, who is battling in court to be on the ballot in next Saturday’s governorship election as the candidate of the APC.
He said his party mobilised efforts to check the alleged PDP plan to concoct results.
“In the wake of INEC not affirming the relisting of our candidates, we had promised the people of Rivers State that APC will closely follow every ballot box, every vote cast and every result declared to its final conclusion,” said Mr Cole. “We affirmed not to allow the votes of the citizens to be stolen and to ensure the results will be as close to reality as is humanly possible.”
He added that “the true victory and a loud statement of intent that the people of Rivers State” against the PDP was that “in the midst of such heavy intimidation and array of forces squarely aimed at destroying the Rivers APC, in an election where we had no candidates, APC faithful still turned out with well over 200,000 votes, while the PDP, unencumbered by money, full array of candidates, robust campaigns and incumbency power was strictly restricted to the unpleasant reality of recording just over 450,000 votes, the lowest tally of votes they have ever recorded.”
The PDP has accused the APC of militarising Rivers State to disenfranchise people in its stronghold.
Out of the 23 LGAs in the state, results from only 17 were collated.
The election was marred by widespread violence that caused outright cancellation of voting in Bonny and Akuku Toru LGAs and absence of collation exercise in four others, Okrika, Ahoada West, Ikwerre and Emohua LGAs.
Two Electoral Officers accused the Nigerian Army of disrupting collation exercise in Ikwerre and Okrika. The military is yet to react. However, on Tuesday, the spokesperson for the army formation based in Port Harcourt, Aminu Iliyasu, accused the governor, Nyesom Wike, of compromising security agents and masterminding violence to gain an advantage in the elections.
Speaking further on Wednesday, Mr Cole accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of siding with the PDP. He cited the deletion of the controversial Emohua results and the refusal of the commission to accept APC nominations for the elections following a court order.
But he expressed confidence his party would participate in the governorship and state legislative elections holding next Saturday.
Speaking on the violence in Akuku Toru Local Government Area in which several persons were killed last Saturday, he denied responsibility. Instead, he accused the agents of the PDP of encouraging armed cult groups who fomented the trouble which led to the killings, a view shared by the Nigerian Army.