Former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security operatives of compromising the governorship and state assembly polls in Rivers State.
Amaechi expressed his frustrations over the conduct of the ongoing exercise, especially in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state where he cast his vote on Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Addressing journalists after voting at his Ward 8, Polling Unit 14, Ubima Community, the former Rivers governor accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in the state led by Governor Nyesom Wike of victimising opposition parties.
According to him, the situation has led to voter apathy in the state as most people who are determined not to vote for the PDP refused to come out for the exercise over fears of being assaulted.
“There is a total failure of governance in the country, complete failure such that police is helping PDP arrest APC, and SDP members.
“People are being arrested and nobody has spoken. The governor has no right to declare anyone wanted.
“The Inspector General of Police is doing nothing, nobody is doing anything. Now there is voter apathy. I don’t know if it cuts across the country but there is complete voter apathy in Rivers State,” the former Minister stated.
Speaking further, Amaechi berated the performance of the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in the 2023 general elections, saying he and some other people were opposed to his re-appointment to lead the commission.
Recall that Yakubu was heavily criticised for his handling of the presidential election which was tainted by the failure of the commission to upload results on its results viewing portal in real time.
Meanwhile, Amaechi said he's unsurprised by the electoral umpire's conduct, alleging that an unnamed person from the camp of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, nominated Yakubu for the INEC job.
He also insinuated that Yakubu might be beholden to Wike having previously worked under the latter as the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in Rivers State.
Amaechi's words: "There are those of us who opposed the re-appointment of Mahmood. The person who nominated him for appointment is a member of Tinubu's camp. So what are you expecting? success?"
"Here in Rivers State, Mahmood worked under Wike as Executive Secretary of TETFund. So what you're having in Rivers State is that APC, SDP, and others are contesting election not against PDP, it's against INEC and the police."
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