Governor Amaechi refuses to be accredited…dares soldiers

Rivers State Governor Rotimi AmaechiRIVERS State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, refused to be accredited over the refusal of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission to produce the result sheet for his polling unit at Omuanwa Ward in the Ikwerre Local Government Area.

The governor, who turned up around 10.00am at his polling unit, was told that there were no election result sheets and that the card readers deployed in the area failed to work.

Amaechi, who is the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, accused the Peoples Democratic Party of plotting to rig the presidential elections in the state. It is unlikely if Amaechi performed his civic right. His convoy was seen returning back to the State House in Port Harcourt almost immediately.

He later addressed a crowd of voters and declared that there would be no accreditation or voting in the area since the result sheets were not available.

The governor disclosed that he had called the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Gecila Khan, who told him that the result sheets had been dispatched to the necessary points.

“The result sheets have not been brought here. The same thing is happening all over the local government area. We have, therefore, resolved not to be involved in the election until the result sheets are brought,” the governor said.

However, a mild drama ensued as Amaechi drove towards his ward to have a glimpse of goings-on before being accredited.

The governor was stopped by the Brigade Commander, 2 Brigade, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt, Brigadier General Essien Essien, who told him not to drive around during election since he had not been accredited by INEC.

When the governor tried to move, a group of soldiers blocked his convoy, a development that caused anxiety for about 12 minutes.

The governor queried the rationale behind the action of the soldiers, who he accused of blocking the road to his father’s house.

“Are you being sent by President Jonathan to kill me? I had told the world that President Jonathan is trying to kill me and I am saying it again,” the governor said.

Essien, however, told Amaechi that they were not given any directive to kill anybody, even as he insisted that the governor should go back home and stop moving around the area.

He told the governor that the military did not block the road leading to his house, but only carrying out instruction to maintain law and order.

“Your Excellency, we have instructions not to allow people who are not duly accredited to move around during the election. That is why we are advising you to go back to your house and wait there until the election is over.

Amaechi later decided to go to the Government House in Port Harcourt after the exchange of words between him and the Brigade Commander, adding that he would only come back for accreditation if the result sheets were ready.

The governor had earlier dared the soldiers to arrest him, saying, “Arrest me if that’s what you want to do or allow me return to Government House in Port Harcourt. This house is my father’s house. I don’t have a house in my village.”

Meanwhile, the PDP governorship candidate in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, cast his vote after accreditation around 2.30pm. Wike, who is a former Minister of State for Education, came in company with his wife, Suzeth, to the Unit 7, Ward 9 polling station in Obio/Akpor area in Ikwerre.

Addressing journalists after voting, Wike called for calm while describing the election in the state as “relatively commendable” except for a handful cases of card reader malfunction which almost hindered accreditation.

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