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Rivers bye-election violence: We have proof APC disrupted bye-election – Obuah

Rivers bye-election violence: We have proof APC disrupted bye-election – Obuah

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The Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Felix Obuah, in this interview with CHUKWUDI AKASIKE, calls for the arrest of his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress and accuses him of disrupting the bye-election in the state

The Independent National Electoral Commission has suspended the bye-election held on July 18. Do you think INEC took the right decision?

As far as I am concerned, INEC is the umpire; if they (INEC) have seen that there was a lot of violence, ballot snatching and the exercise was no longer credible and they decided to suspend the election, their action is in the right direction. Everybody knows that the state (Rivers) is PDP-controlled and at any time, we are ready to take part and win election. But a situation where the APC and its cohorts came out to disrupt the electoral process is unacceptable. Having noticed what happened, INEC decided to suspend it; INEC did the right thing.

But the APC in the state is saying that your party should be held responsible for the disruption of the bye-election.

Everybody saw what happened from the various video clips. People can see that the APC did not come to be part of the election, but to create tension in the state. We are calling for the arrest of Ojukaye Flag-Amachree (state APC chairman) because he was not ready for the election, but only came to create confusion and problem in the state.

Some are saying the two political parties should be blamed for the disruption of the bye-election.

There is no way anybody would blame the PDP. We cannot be involved in any disruption; Rivers State belongs to the PDP. At any point in time, we will win election. It is only those who know that they cannot win election that came out to destroy. They connived with SARS to create tension in the state. So, there is no way we would cause trouble where we are holding sway.

Do you have any evidence to prove that the APC in the state was behind the disruption of the exercise?

We have enough evidence and everybody saw them (APC) conniving with the Federal SARS to create tension in the state. Ojukaye is not from Port Harcourt Constituency 3, but you could see him everywhere on that day. Martins Manna is not from Port Harcourt Constituency 3, he is from Ahoada, but you could see all them gathering that day and disrupting the electoral process.

People, who are not from Port Harcourt Constituency, came in to disrupt the election. I am from Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area and nobody saw me where the exercise was supposed to be held. As the state party chairman and based on where I come from, I have nothing to do with Port Harcourt Constituency 3. I was in my house because there was restriction, which stated that if you are not from the area where election was to be conducted, you should not be there. But Ojukaye and his cohorts were moving round the entire PHALGA Constituency 3, creating problem; he (Ojukaye) has nothing to do there. The recordings are all there for everybody to see.

With what happened during the bye-election, what is the guarantee that the 2019 general election in Rivers State would be violent-free?

They (APC) have shown us what they are up to. We want to call on the foreign observers and other stakeholders to watch out. We are ready for credible election; we are going to win because the governor of the state has done well. Everybody sees the extent of work he has done and without even campaigning, eyes have seen and ears have heard what he has done. But those who have nothing to show are the people creating problem and tension. The PDP will win in Rivers State any day and any time.

Have you been educating your supporters to also maintain peace when there is election?

You are aware that I have gone on air to tell my supporters to remain calm and be law abiding. Our supporters are not part of the disruption of the electoral process. It is the APC in the state and that is why in spite of all they did, we remain calm, but resolute.

The police promised a violent-free election, but INEC also pointed accusing finger at the police after the exercise was suspended. What is your reaction to this?

Everybody saw it; you could see SARS took over the entire place with the APC. You could see Ojukaye with SARS people guiding him; you could see what happened. So, INEC was right; the APC connived with SARS to take over everywhere. That was not a credible election; INEC stopped the election in order to stop the tension.

The APC is threatening to go to court over the suspension of the election. What is your view on this?

They (APC) are only ranting; they have no basis to go to court. Everybody saw them that they came out to disrupt the election and were not ready for the election. But we, in the PDP, are ever ready for election in Rivers State; the APC has no home here. It will be very difficult for the opposition party to win a single seat here.

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