It was gathered yesterday that thousands of Rivers State residents from the 23 local government areas of the state took to the streets to protest alleged plots by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to use the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to manipulate the forthcoming governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state.
They displayed placards which read: “Rivers State is not for sale, ‘Rivers is for PDP,’ ‘Amaechi is a traitor,’ ‘We will vote Wike on Saturday no matter what Amaechi and APC do,’ ‘ Jega don’t be deceived by Amaechi’s money and tricks, we need free and fair elections, ‘Jega don’t send Amaechi’s stooge to conduct elections in Rivers State,’ among others.
Among the protesters were senators elect, members of the House of Representatives, members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, youth groups, market women, student bodies, non-indigenes and leaders of PDP in the state.
Mrs. Betty Apiaji who spoke during the protest, said the APC only accepts an election to be free and fair when it wins, dismissing allegations of bias levelled against the Resident Electoral Commissioner and security agencies in the state as unfounded.
She said that Rivers State was a PDP state as exemplified by the last presidential and National Assembly elections, pointing out that the violence being sponsored by the gogernor and the APC will not deter the party from winning the governorship and state Assembly elections.