The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its continued silence on the decision of Governor Nyesom Wike to appoint 200,000 special assistants on polling units.
In a statement issued yesterday in Port Harcourt by the spokesman of the party’s 2023 Campaign Council, Sogbeye Eli, the APC said it is only INEC that is empowered by the constitution and the Electoral Act to recruit and deploy electoral personnel.
The statement read in part: “The Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council hereby reminds the Independent National Electoral Commission that it is guilty of conspiracy with her silence over the appointment of 200,000 special advisers, special assistants and liaison officers on polling units by Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.
“For the avoidance of doubt, only INEC is empowered by the constitution and the Electoral Act to recruit and deploy electoral personnel, including ad hoc staff for election duties.
“The recruitment of anyone under any name or guise by any authority for elections in any part of Nigeria is ultra vires the laws of the land. Thus, INEC cannot continue in a manner that suggests that it is aloof to the illegality of Wike’s appointments to her own polling units.
“To many Rivers people, the silence or indifference of INEC on this; the rash enactment of Executive Orders 21 and 22 which are in gross violation of provisions of the Electoral Act 2022; and the clampdown on the rights, activities and facilities of other political parties and those Wike perceives as his political opponents has already sent dangerous signals on the credibility of the elections.
“The recruitment of 200,000 people for deployment at polling units howsoever by a Government that scammed Rivers youths with a promise of creating 5,000 jobs under a so-called “Rivjobs” in the last four years leaves no one in doubt on the mission of those who engaged them.
“Consequently, the INEC must rise to prove her independence by getting the Wike Government of Rivers State to disband the 200,000 thugs recruited to steal Rivers votes and intimidate the electorate at next year’s general elections.
“Rivers youths must not be subjected to insult and denigration of their persons by a Government that is bound by duty to strive to maintain their personal dignity. We therefore apologize to our vibrant youths on behalf of an Administration that deceived them on the 5000 “Riv Jobs.”
“Secondly, we apologise that they have to endure further insult for another five months from a government that believes our youths are only fit for Taskforce and thug engagements.”
Follow us on Twitter at @thesignalng
Copyright 2022 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.