Rivers State Governor, Barr Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being the arrowhead of the challenges faced in some states during the 2019 general elections in the country, because he refused to assent to the amended Electoral Act.
Wike made this known during a courtesy visit by the Political Team from the British High Commission at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on June 11 2019.
According to Wike, “If the President had assented to the amended Electoral Act, we wouldn’t have had the kind of problem we had.
“That means there must be card reader in the Electoral Process. In that case, it makes it difficult for security agencies who want to commit electoral fraud to succeed.
“With the card reader, results that don’t tally with accredited figures in the device will not be accepted. Since the card reader is not in the law, it creates the loopholes for them to manipulate.
“They created the room where some security agencies tried to force Returning Officers to sign result sheets. Remember in Rivers State, the Army took over the INEC Headquarters. The essence of that was to see that the Returning Officers were hijacked for fraudulent purposes.
“But if the card reader was legitimised in the Electoral Act, it would not have been possible, because the only acceptable result would be the one that tallies with the Card Reader. I have always said to Mr President that in the interest of the country, let us do the right thing. Let us not politicise everything.
“We should reduce the militarisation during elections. It is unfortunate that instead of Police, the Army takes over our elections with flimsy excuses.
“What happened in Rivers State is an eye-opener. Bringing in the Army every time is not the solution. The police should be allowed to do their job. INEC should be truly independent.
“In the case of Rivers State, we must commend INEC for being assertive. If they were not assertive, I don’t know where we would have been.”
The governor however charged the INEC to earnestly independent.