Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said testimonies by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the April 11 governorship election in the state was peaceful and credible have confounded and quietened the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The national electoral body had opened its defence at the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abuja.
INEC’s electoral officers and presiding officers from Obio /Akpor, Akuku Toru, Bonny, Tai and Oyigbo local government areas of the state testified that the election in the affected local councils was peaceful, credible and conducted in line with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.
Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday, Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant (Media) to Governor Wike, noted that since INEC opened its defence on the disputed election, propagandists, allegedly hired by Rivers APC, had taken the back seat and remained largely quiet.
He said the weight of the evidence adduced by the electoral officers and presiding officers at the tribunal had helped to throw more light on the success of the election and the mandate of Governor Wike.
“All the INEC officials who have testified so far directly conducted the election in five local government areas spread across the three senatorial districts of Rivers State.
“All of them stated, while being led in evidence and during cross examination that they used both the card readers and the manual process to accredit voters for the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state.
“They explained in clear terms that the election was peaceful, free, fair and credible. They all noted that no armed soldier came to their polling units and that they conducted the elections in line with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines”, he said.
The governor’s media aide also said the victory of Wike at the polls was no fluke, noting that the people of the state stood up for development, experience and the promotion of the ideals of the Niger Delta.
According to him, the official reports after the election from the relevant security agencies prove that the election was peaceful and credible.
Nwakaudu also alleged that the four soldiers and policemen directly invited by the Rivers APC to orally testify months after the election were compromised.
“The official reports of the Army, the Police and other security agencies after the election proved that the April 11 Rivers State governorship election was peaceful, free and fair.
“Those few misguided security agents directly invited by the Rivers State APC were, unfortunately, compromised.
“It tells you how desperate the Rivers State APC became because they lacked witnesses, as their polling, ward and local government agents who participated in the election refused to be used for negative propaganda and falsehood”, he said.