RIVERS UPDATE: Drama As INEC Officials Abandon Returning Officer At Senatorial Collation Centre Amidst Uncertainty; See Photo
TheCable - Three staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) involved in the collation of results at Rivers East senatorial district have walked out on the returning officer.
The officials, who attempted to sneak out of council hall, Port Harcourt, venue of the exercise, left one after the other.
When TheCable approached the one who walked out last, he declined to speak.
Asked if the election had been declared inconclusive, he said: “I am not the one to decide that. The returning officer is still there.”
Responding to a question posed by this reporter, Oji Ekumankama, the returning officer, expressed worries.
“I am very disturbed at the moment,” he said.
“We just have to announce a winner. Even if everyone leaves, I will still remain here. As the returning officer, I have nowhere to go until the result is announced.
“I know that something is wrong somewhere, but this is our country, we will all do our best to develop it.”
Asked if he has communicated with appropraite authorities, he said: “They are aware.”
No sooner than the officials departed did agent of parties and journalists also made their way out.
Only the agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is in the hall at the moment.
The collation commenced around 11pm on Saturday, and ended by 5:25am on Sunday.
The officials had announced that Ikwerre and Emouha were the only local governments of the eight in the district where results had not been declared.
They promised to make official announcement as soon as they got it.
However, around 10am, words went round that a powerful politician had hijacked the result of Ikwerre, where Nyesom Wike, governor of the state, and Rotimi Amaechi, hailed from.
TheCable made efforts to reach the duo for their reactions.
While Amaechi, who spoke through David Iyiofor, his media aide, denied the report, Wike could not be reached for comments.
Simeon Nwakaudu, his spokesman, did not respond to the mail sent.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won in Port Harcourt, Ogu/Bolo, Okrika, Omuma, Obio Akpor, and Etche local governments – the six areas where results have been announced.