By Emmanuel Aziken
The All Progressives Congress, APC candidate barred in the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State, Mr. Tonye Cole has lamented the lack of confidence by the state’s political actors in the March 9 election and called for a fresh election supervised by heavy security.
Noting the controversies trailing the March 9 election and the acrimony between the two major parties involved, that is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the African Action Congress, AAC, Cole said that there was no way that an acceptable victor could emerge from the contest.
Cole was, however, silent on his own involvement in a fresh election in the statement he issued entitled, “A plea for righteous intervention in Rivers State.”
While calling for a fresh election under heavy security, he said that would be the only way for the true voice of the people to resonate.
“If there is one thing that I am certain of, it is that the entire election of March 9th is totally and completely compromised from head to toe. There are no results that would be announced today that would reflect the will of the people in any form or manner.
“There are just as many people who do not trust and will not accept an election that delivers PDP today because of the belief that the umpire has granted unfettered access to the result sheets and a yeoman’s job has been done on the collated results that is guaranteed to withstand any scrutiny through the Election Tribunals or any court of law thereafter just as there are as many people who will not accept a result that delivers the AAC because of the belief that the election day results were structured to favour them by the direct involvement of the military as insinuated by the PDP.”
“INEC must therefore declare the entire elections of March 9th null and void and set out a new date for fresh elections.
“This time around, there are no distractions left and every eye is upon Rivers State now. The violent elements can be caged and neutralized so they are ineffective on the day of election. We have seen this happen. The people can come out to vote without the fear of intimidation and harassment. We know this is possible. The electoral officials can carry out their duties without compromise or fear of terror. We know this is achievable.
“The security agencies can provide the environment that enables them operate professionally and efficiently without fear of being shot at or killed in the line of duty. We know this is desirable. The party agents and politicians can carry out their duties without the fear of being killed or maimed for their affiliations. We know this is progress.
“This is a clarion call to the good men out there to conduct fresh elections in Rivers State where the entire focus of the world at large is upon our activities and us. Let us give this land and its people something to cherish and be proud of, a solid foundation to build upon; a democratically elected government that is chosen by her people, freely and fairly, whether or not the chosen candidate is one who just entered politics yesterday or a veteran. Let us allow the people to choose and let their voice be heard loudly and respected completely.”