The Rivers State chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have disagreed over an alleged power outage at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The state APC had blamed the alleged inability of INEC to provide constant power supply to speed up the process of providing certified true copies of the 2015 election materials on sabotage.
An APC agent in the state, Mr. Michael Igoli, specifically attributed the breakdown of the generator used by INEC to sabotage.
Recall that the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company had earlier disconnected electricity supply to the INEC office, located on Port Harcourt-Aba road.
Mr Igoli alleged that though INEC provided an alternative power supply when it became obvious that PHED would not supply power, the generator was however salted, a development that led to the breakdown of the generator he added that the development had also delayed the process of delivering the CTCs to the tribunal.
He said, “We have had great challenges with power. Deliberately and curiously, power is the biggest challenge in INEC office in Rivers State.
“There are issues of PHED bills not being paid, the PHED line disconnected and the generators of the commission here have broken down. The one that was hired eventually was salted. Of course, that is clear sabotage.
“But so far, so good, you can see that the work is on. This is what we expected right from when we applied for certified true copies of all the documents used in the elections.
“Unfortunately, we did not get them until INEC at the national level intervened by setting up a task force that kept the process driven and that caused a whole lot of delay in the delivery of these materials.” Mr igoli said.
In their reaction, Deputy Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Samuel Nwanosike, described the claim by the APC as funny and strange, adding that INEC’s generators have been working since the exercise began.
Nwanosike explained that though he learnt that one of the generators developed a fault, he was told that measures were being put in place to fix it.
He maintained that there was nothing like sabotage or salting of a generator, maintaining that the allegation was one of the APC’s propaganda to gain public sympathy.
Nwanosike said, “The allegation is funny and strange. I have been here since morning and I have never even heard such a story that the generator at INEC’s office here was salted.
“It is a big lie from the APC. As I speak to you, INEC is discussing how to go and service their generator. One of the generators has been bad for two months. The other one has been working.
“As soon as the committee arrived on Wednesday, it was Thursday when they (committee on certification of election materials) wanted to start work that the generator went bad. There is nothing like sabotage by anybody.
“It is the issue of PHED light. The APC men are also aware that they (INEC) have been having problems with the PHED over the payment of bills. They owe PHED and this issue has been there for over six months.
“It is shocking to hear them come and lie and turn around to see how they can curry cheap favour through propaganda.”
Speaking on the matter, the state INEC Public Relations Officer, Anthonia Nwobi, told newsmen that contrary to the claim, the generators were working.