Activist warns APC to avoid upsetting Rivers electorate

By Amako Nneji August 13, 2015 14:00

Activist warns APC to avoid upsetting Rivers electorate

Reactions have trailed the move of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Wednesday led by Dakuku Peterside to openly lead a crowd of party members to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Headquarters Abuja, labeling it as an arbitrary self-help and an undue interference with the cause of justice.

A strategic Communicator and Good Governance Advocate, Oraye Franklyn on Thursday in a statement stated that nothing, therefore, undermines the cause of justice as much as the resort to arbitrary self-help arising from impatience and despotic misconducts outside the precinct of the rule of law.

On Wednesday, the governorship Candidate of the APC stormed the INEC Headquarters in Abuja in the company of a crowd of Party members to demand an inspection of election materials as allegedly ordered by the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

Dakuku Peterside had led party members to INEC Headquarters in Abuja to allegedly execute a court order, Wednesday, August 12, 2015.

Among the protesters were: Senator Magnus Abe, Hon. Andrew Uchendu, Otelemaba George, Igochukwu Aguma, Lucy Odili and Aye Pepple.

The protesters, who insisted on seeing the Acting National Chairman of the commission, Amina Zakari, were prevented from gaining entry into the premises of the commission as gun-toting policemen fired tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the angry protesters.

They maintained that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides only 180 days within which an election petition shall be determined.

“Our petitions were filed on 17th and 30th of April 2015 respectively,” he stressed. “From all indications the petitions are left with less than 3 months within which the Petitions are to be heard on their merit “.

While condemning the action, the Good Governance Advocate stated that the action of the protesters raises a lot of questions and poses grave danger to the growing peace, unity and well being of Rivers people.

    “One wonders how the process of executing an alleged court order is by mass action and open street protest especially when the doors to the Temple of Justice are wide open.

    “It clearly means the APC has no such court order and is only, as is symptomatic with their party’s creed, on an unrelenting effort to violate the law with impunity.

    “The law has clearly laid out processes for both executing court orders and addressing contempt of such. The APC did not use any of those laid out processes of law.

    “It rather opted for a street protest to disturb the peace of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and create chaos that is scripted to make Rivers State ungovernable.

    “With the series of assaults on INEC by the APC; first by the unlawful intrusion of the Department of State Security to an electoral matter before the Court and by the contemptuous act of open street protestation, one can only reason that there appears to be a well orchestrated plan by the APC and the Daura led-DSS with the aid of the Amina-led INEC (two alleged relatives of the President) to compromise the peace and government of Rivers State.

    “INEC needs to be reminded that as a Party to the suit between APC and PDP in Rivers State it must be seen and not just be presumed to be neutral.

    “It must not pander to the dictates nor be cowed by the intimidation of any Party, no matter how devious the blackmail is or enticing the lure. The eyes of Nigerians and indeed the world are on Rivers State.

    “Every action and inaction is being noted. History is being written and every participant in this evolving episode must ensure to put their best foot forward at all times.

    “APC Rivers needs to realise that the 2015 elections have been won and lost and that the only lawful option available to it is to abide by the dictates of the law, even as it challenges the mandate of Rivers people. Extrajudicial measures only serve to undermine rather than aid its cause.

    “One even wonders why a Party that claims to have a good case and has the interest of Rivers people at heart resort to self-help even when the matter it is prosecuting is subsisting in a Court of law.

    “The action obviously implies that the APC is faced with impending defeat and these self-help measures are orchestrated to destabilise Rivers State, impede her current recovery and invite military fiat.

    “How, then, can these actions be reasoned to be in the best interest of Rivers people? It obviously begs the question.

    “If the APC believes in the rule of law, it is advised to subject itself to the law although the closure of courts in Rivers State by the last APC Government ostensibly priming itself to comeback through the back door is suggestive of the lawlessness that the Party thrives in.

    “However, it must be told that no matter how hard it tries, its bid to have President Buhari write its election result will come to naught.

    “This is a democracy and as such the will of the majority will always superintend those of the minority, which minority has a right to its position.

    “APC as a Party must not put the resolve of Rivers people to test. The result will be damning to its national psyche and standing.”