Opposition parties in Rivers State have said the River State local government election scheduled to hold tomorrow Saturday April 17 has been compromised by the state electoral umpire.
Leader of the opposition and Chairman of African Action Congress party, Hon. Progress Ogbokuma, who spoke to THE WHISTLER over the issue said the state government has compromised the election by not releasing grants to the participating parties to enable them prepare for the election properly.
The AAC Party had on Thursday led opposition protest against non-payment of grant to parties two days to the election.
The protest was staged at the office of the Rivers State Electoral Commission (RSIEC)which was accused of failing to disburse the funds.
The chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Ambassador, Desmond Akawor, had however told THE WHISTLER that there was no provision for grant for this election.
The RSIEC had also corroborated the statement of the PDP chairman.
But Ogbokuma said it was a breach of agreement between INEC and the RSIEC, saying:
“In previous LGA polls there have been grants given to political parties to enable them carry out their activities smoothly.
“It is really discouraging that as at this time there have not been such grants disbursed and the RSIEC Chairman have come up openly to disregard such agreement between INEC and RSIEC stating such never happened.
“It clearly shows that tomorrow’s election is already biased and lack genuineness. We cannot be deceived by RSIEC.
“With or without their grant, we will come to the poll and victory is ours. Governor Wike’s threat to arrest anyone who tries to disrupt the Election is one of their strategies to hijack and arrest opposition parties at the polls come tomorrow.
“We have spoken to our candidates and supporters to be very vigilant and maintain peace. I believe in free and fair elections and who ever the people chooses will wear the crown.
“We won’t fight nobody come tomorrow and we expect they also don’t intimidate, harass and molest our candidates and supporters come tomorrow.”