Rivers Poll: Head of International observers, staunch Amaechi loyalist, calls for polls cancellation

By Ayoola Mudasiru April 13, 2015 20:50

Rivers Poll: Head of International observers, staunch Amaechi loyalist, calls for polls cancellation

International observers of Nigeria’s general elections on Sunday called for the cancellation of the Governorship and House of Assembly polls in Rivers State.

The observers, under the aegis of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategies and Development, had said they were amazed that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had disregarded the widespread reports of violence and irregularities and proceeded to declare results in the State.

Describing the elections as “bloody, results cooked and unacceptable,” a Spokesperson of the group, Humphrey Bekaren, said what happened in the State was a far cry from what elections should be.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, which also called for the cancellation of the polls in Rivers, used the report of the international observers to validate its claim.

Investigations carried out by Post Nigeria have however revealed that the so called team of “independent international observers” has as its spokesperson, a man who has shown his partisanship long before the elections took place.

Humphrey Bekaren, it would seem, is a consultant that works closely with the Rivers State Government and has shown his bias and loyalty for the current Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, and the APC Governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside.

Peterside, in a phone call with Channels Television, had accused the INEC Adhoc staff of being card carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He said that they were partisan and that cleared a path for what he called the many irregularities that pervaded the electoral process in the State.

Apparently the APC candidate was accusing the PDP and INEC adhoc staff of what his own party was actually guilty of.

In an article written by Bekaren in December of 2014, and published in the Vanguard, he lauds and idolizes Amaechi, who he describes as “the unfortunately misunderstood father of the NEW and EMERGING Rivers state” and what Bekaren termed as his achievements, and expresses hope that Peterside would be able fill “the really large shoes” of Amaechi. SEE FULL ARTICLE

One is thus forced to wonder the validity, legitimacy and credibility of the reports that suggest the Rivers polls be cancelled coming from an organization that has such a clearly partisan individual as its spokesperson.

“If it has someone like Bekaren, it is possible that many more partisan APC and Amaechi loyalists will be in the organization. Is it not plausible that he and the entire organization have been compromised and would do anything to favour the APC gubernatorial candidate?” Jante, a civil activist asked when the issue was put to him.

It is not yet known if the electoral body would listen to the calls for a cancellation of the polls in the State, but it is doubtful as it had already carried out investigations and deemed the elections satisfactory.