Patrick Osadebamwen and Faith Aghaeze
National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to investigate the violence that rocked the Rivers state Re-run elections.
Sheriff who said his party was deeply concerned over the manner in which events turned in the Rivers state national and States Assembly elections condemned the role of the army in the election describing it as an act of usurpation of the mandate of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The PDP said it has conducted elections and ceded where it lost and expect the Independent National Electoral Commission to announce the results already declared at the various in line with the extant laws.
The party expressed dismay at the submission of the INEC to pressure leading to the refusal of the Commission to announce results that have already been declared.
Sheriff said: “The Peoples Democratic Party expresses great concern at the turn of events at the re-run Rivers State National and State Assembly elections.
Whilst we join well-meaning Nigerians to condemn the cases of violence which reportedly characterized the process in some areas, we enjoin the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately constitute a panel to carry out a dispassionate investigation of the circumstances with a view to unraveling the truth and bringing the culprits to book.
“The PDP also condemns the reported roles played by some officers ‘ and members of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who are said to have in some cases acted beyond their expected role of maintenance of law and order and taken over the responsibility of INEC in the actual conduct of the re~run election.
“The fact that the Armed Forces acted as they did in flagrant disobedience of an order of court to the contrary is a matter that requires urgent investigation and appropriate sanction.
“Our long-held view, proven over the years by our attitude of accepting declared results of elections, is that the mandate of the Nigerian people is sacred and anybody or party which seeks to govern Nigeria or any part of it must solicit and obtain this mandate freely given in an openly contested election where democratic norms and ethos are rigidly observed.
“The PDP is also appalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, after results had been collated and declared on the ground in many Wards and Constituencies, yielded to the pressure and instruction of a highly placed politician in Rivers State to suspend the much-awaited declaration of final results and return of the winners, who are already well known to the electorate.
“We stress that the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended) and applicable regulations do not support the suspension of the declaration of results after collation has been completed. We therefore demand for the declaration of all results already collated and the return of the winners of the elections.”
He added that Nigerian Armed forces are known for supporting other countries in bringing peace where it is needed most.
He pointed out that while the PDP was not against the deployment of the Military to maintain law and order, the party are against them taking over the role of the INEC is condemnable.
The PDP chairman said that because Nigeria is governed by Law, the party will take the steps the law demand of it to enforce it’s right and mandate freely given to her.