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Patriots welcome nullification of Rivers polls

14 December 2015, 09:52Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - The Patriots Alliance (TPA), a prodemocracy group, has commended the Nigerian Judiciary for nullifying results of elections that were held amid misconduct in the Rivers State.

TPA said this was a bold step to ensure that violence and electoral fraud does not become a norm in society.

Solomon Okocha, an executive with the organisation, said the move to nullify the outcome that controversially brought in three Rivers State senators and twelve Federal House of Representatives members (PDP) was a “historical” that reaffirmed the maxim suggesting the court was the last hope of the common man.

“As Patriotic Nigerians, we believe that anyone who is interested in political leadership must be ready to adhere strictly to the Nigerian Constitution, Electoral Act, and INEC Guidelines.

"By now, it should be clear to all and sundry that the days of political gangsterism has finally come to an end. Those who want to lead others, must first respect the will of the people whom they intend to lead,” Okocha said.

Also Read: Rivers deputy premier condemns women's abuse

“While we continue to hail the Nigerian Judiciary for defending the voting rights of Rivers people, we however urge the Nigerian Legislature and Executive to make and implement laws with stiffer punishment for electoral offenders.”

Okocha said with respect to the ongoing nullification of controversial elections in the Rivers State Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, TPA believed those responsible for the wide scale violence and wanton irregularities should be prosecuted.

First in this case, Okocha argued, is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dame Gesila Khan, who supervised the elections in Rivers State.

“We believe that there must be some form of punitive lesson for this woman who desecrated her oath of office on the pedestal of crass partisanship,” said Okocha.

“We also believe that those Senators and Federal House of Representatives members whose elections were annulled, should be investigated and interrogated in other to ascertain their respective roles in the shambolic and violence ridden electoral exercise.”

Okocha said TPA was expecting a calm political atmosphere as the campaigns leading to fresh polls kick off in the coming weeks.“We will not accept any more violence and bloodshed. From now on, anyone who maims or kills any Rivers son or daughter again because of political differences, will face not just the wrath of the law, but the collective will of Rivers people."

- CAJ News


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