By Ugochukwu Iwuchukwu
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has presented certificates of return to 11 winners of House of Assembly seats at the March 19 re-run election in Rivers State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner REC in Rivers State Aniedi Ikiowak presented the certificates to the returned candidates at the INEC Secretariat in Port Harcourt.
Aniedi Ikiowak while presenting the certificates to the returned candidates stated that INEC will not conduct any elections in Rivers State in a warlike environment.
He blamed politicians for the violence that marred the March 19 re-run election stating that the candidates wanted to conduct the elections themselves.
Ikoiwak also said there are cases where electoral officers were held to ransom and made to declare results under duress.
The REC also lamented the loss of lives of innocent citizens during the election.
He said INEC was in a dire situation in Rivers state, adding that politicians in the state were destroying the course of true democracy in Nigeria.
Ikoiwak who described some of the declared results as jumbo votes said INEC will not declare results where such incidents occurred.
The Resident electoral commission said INEC was making frantic efforts to ensure that elections are well-conducted in the future.
He said INEC will not be coerced by anyone into announcing results, adding that the Commission will announce results at its convenience.
He said many credible people were forced to abscond from their responsibilities because of the massive security threat in the state.
“INEC will not announce any result that was not announced by the accredited officer. That takes me to where anybody thinks he can hold any INEC official and ask that person to make pronouncements. In the absence of a Returning Officer, the commission has the right to appoint another person to replace. INEC has a procedure. If we are to move Nigeria forward, we should learn to follow procedures.
“During the election we had a situation where some people dictated for INEC. We had a situation where some people were returned with jumbo votes. We must always ensure that what is right is done.
“By the time the commission concludes on what to do where election did not hold, we will make it public,” Ikoiwak said.
Some of the members-elect who spoke with newsmen want INEC to conclude all electoral activities in Rivers state.
The commission said House of Representatives candidates who also won the March 19 election will receive their certificates in Abuja.
Eleven member-elect were issued Certificates of return including nine members of the PDP and two members-elect of the APC.
Meanwhile, the winner of Omuma State Constituency Kelechi Godspower Nwogu promised to attract dividends of democracy to the people of his area.
The List of candidates that received their certificate of return and their constituencies:
- Martins Manah Ahoada East 1
- Ehie Ogerenye Edison Ahoada East II
- Jack Major Akuku-Toru 1
- Barr Benibo Anabraba Akuku-Toru II
- Ogeh Samuel Emohua
- Amaewhule Martin Obio/Akpor 1
- Hon Micheal Chinda Obio/Akpor II
- Hon Kelechi Nwogu Omuma
- Christian Ahiakwo Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni
- Andrew Miller Opobo/Nkoro
- Adoki Smart Port Harcourt II