The purported resignation of the African Action Congress (AAC) running mate in Rivers State, Akpo Bomba Yeeh, has been flayed by its gubernatorial candidate, Engineer Biokpomabo Awara, who also berated the former for defecting to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Awara equally debunked Yeeh’s claims that the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the All Progressives Congress (APC), had made them to sign resignation letters.
In a statement, Awara dismissed all the allegations against the minister as false, stating that Amaechi and the APC offered him and his party unconditional support, owing to their shared ideology and love for Rivers State and its people.
In a related development, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, adjourned hearing on a suit seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from proceeding with the collation, conclusion and announcement of results in the March 9 governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State till March 28.
Ekwo had last Friday declined the application of Awara and Ben-Gurion Peter, both of AAC, to stop the collation of results of Rivers State governorship and House of Assembly elections. He then adjourned matter till Monday for hearing of both the ex parte applications and the main suit of the plaintiffs.
Respondents in the two suits include INEC and PDP.
According the court, the reliefs sought by the applicants were such that the court could not grant without hearing from the other party. He consequently ordered the plaintiffs to put the respondents on notice to show cause why the prayers of the plaintiffs should not be granted.
But when the matter was called yesterday, the court held that the ex parte application had been overtaken by event as both parties were in court. He therefore adjourned till March 28 for hearing of the main suit and ordered parties to regularise their processes in the suit.
Also, Awara dismissed his running mate’s ‘compromising’ actions as pathetic, claiming that he had himself been offered N3 billion to drop his ambition, but he rejected it and his deputy was aware.
“I was convinced that we were in agreement because he neither expressed nor alluded to a difference in opinion on the matter. When the rumour became rife by Sunday, I made several attempts to reach my deputy without success. I started developing some strange feelings pointing to a possible sell-out by him.
“I am aware that a key component of their plot is to attempt to smear the towering image and figure of the Honourable Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. I want to state categorically that all the accusations made by my running mate against the Honourable Minister are blatant lies poorly crafted by his paymaster and associates, and you could see how tough it was for him to read the script handed to him.
“The support the AAC got from the Honourable Minister and the APC was unconditional. Those conditions my deputy alleged in the statement drafted for him are false, crude lies. The alliance between AAC and APC for the governorship election is as a result of our shared love for the state and our shared vision to liberate Rivers State from the shackles of cultism, rapidly growing poverty and the unsafe nature of our state in the hands of an administration that has wrecked almost everything in our state.
“One of the reasons I picked him as my running mate is because of the long running relationship between the Ogoni and Kalabari people, dating back to pre-independence. I also choose him because I saw a fatherly figure and capacity in him that could benefit Rivers Youths. I personally saw our joint ticket as Obama/Joe Biden ticket, ” Awara said.
“We remain focused on liberating Rivers people, our people from the inept, cruel and clueless administration currently running the state aground.
“Unemployment is on the rise daily. Private sector growth has a record low in our state. Kidnappings, criminality and youths in cultism are on the rise. Go to Trans Amadi, the industry layout of Rivers State, all the industries are packing out to new places outside our state.
“HRM King Alfred Diette Spiff and his likes were not older than me when they turned around the old Rivers State into a garden city of wealth with numerous infrastructure and bonded our rich Rivers heritage. But today, we are losing it. I speak to you my fellow youths and critics, you can be me too one day. Rivers State belongs to us and we must work together to salvage her from sinking.”
Awara has also officially filed a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, Obo Effanga.
Awara said: “My party and all well-meaning citizens of Rivers State are dissatisfied with the gross incompetence of the REC and INEC’s decision to continue with the suspended electoral process, as it is clearly not a fair or transparent process.
“We are concerned about the looming electoral crises unfolding in Rivers State and this may most likely result in a breakdown of law and order, destruction of property and loss of lives.
“We demand for the removal of the REC and all the Heads of Department at INEC Rivers State as it is clear that they and indeed most of the Rivers INEC ad hoc staff have all been compromised and cannot be trusted to regulate and superintend the conduct of credible elections in Rivers State.
“INEC should stop further collation and announcement of results of the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections which they unilaterally and surreptitiously compiled after the suspension of the electoral processes as the outcome will undoubtedly be prejudicial and contentious.
The declaration of results in the seven LGAs namely Ikwerre, Ahoada West, Akuku Toru, Asari Toru, Oyigbo, Eleme and Port Harcourt LGAs which were collated and announced both at the unit, ward and LGA levels before the suspension of the electoral processes should be upheld by INEC, whilst all other collations should be declared null and void.
“We are aware that direct attempts have been made to the ROs of Asari Toru, Akuku Toru and Eleme LGAs by unscrupulous politicians and corrupt INEC officials to prevail on them to alter the already collated and announced results in the seven LGAs namely Ikwerre, Ahoada West, Akuku Toru, Asari Toru, Oyigbo, Eleme, and Port Harcourt LGAs. We salute the courage of these ROs that have withstood these overtures. We emphasize that AAC will not accept any altered results already declared in the seven aforestated LGAs.
“Fresh elections should be conducted in the 16 LGAs where collations and announcements had not been concluded as at the time the election was suspended. We reiterate that any results declared after the suspension is completely compromised and totally unacceptable. They should not and cannot be declared or upheld as valid results.
“Announcement of any results based on the compromised process will only lead to a breakdown of law and order which will aggravate the already tense security challenges in the state