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The Rivers state rerun election which held on Saturday, March 19, was marred with violence and irregularities, and has been cancelled in some areas of the state.

The election was like a battle between the governor of the state, Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the former governor, Rotimi Amaechi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Doyin Okupe, a former media aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, has condemned the spate of violence that accompanied the Rivers rerun elections.
Doyin Okupe condemns violence that marred Rivers rerun election

Doyin Okupe condemns violence that marred Rivers rerun election

In a post on his Facebook wall, he suggested that Wike, Amaechi and all their associates should be moved into protective custody before and on the day of any future election in the state.

“For the next re run in rivers, Gov Wike, and Amechi and at least 10 of their proven closest aides must be moved out of rivers state into protective custody, deprived of their phones for a day before the new elections and on the day of elections,” he wrote.

Okupe condemned the reported death of innocent youth corps members, saying the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be stopped from deploying innocent children for electoral services.

He wrote: “All principal participants must accept responsibility for this intolerable acts of savagery. By all principals I mean, PDP, APC and their leaderships, the INEC, and the entire gamut of our security agencies. In 2016, the wanton destruction of lives and properties that accompany our elections in varying degrees is no longer excusable. The frequent deaths of citizens, electoral officials and members of the security forces has assumed highly barbaric proportions.

“INEC stands accused in all this dastardly developments. Before going into an election in any volatile area they ought to obtain full security reports of the area in question and also confer with the police and the army to get written assurance that they can guarantee the security of electoral materials and officers. Firstly it is unacceptable that INEC will still be involved in moving electoral materials all over the place on election day. All materials for election must arrive all LGA headquarters 2 weeks before election day.

“They must arrive all wards one whole week before elections, only to be moved to the polling stations accompanied by security in the morning of the elections. All personnel including security, should be at the wards at least two days before the elections and be familiarised with their areas of duty and their security details before the D Day.

“In the case of this rerun in rivers, INEC the main organ empowered by our laws to conduct and oversee elections ought to have correctly projected these events and prevented it by breaking the elections into two episodes separated by one week. It is not acceptable for INEC, after its publicly manifested incompetence, to just come up after each mayhem, technical and administrative failure, and announce gleefully that the elections are “Inconclusive.

“If the present leadership in INEC are incompetent, the federal government should not waste time and continue to expose the citizenry to misery and pain. The entire organization should be overhauled,” he wrote.

The former presidential aide said security agencies have no business with voting and the processes that are before or after it, adding that they must keep their roles to their professional calling.

“Enough of violence in our elections,” he noted.
7:38 PM

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