Amaka Ogbu, Port-Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has declared that the negative roles allegedly played by the army during the 2019 general elections was the worst in the history of the country.
The governor spoke on Friday when he granted audience to the Nigerian Army Committee on Electoral Violence during the 2019 elections at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said that “the army’s political interference in the state is the most unfortunate infraction in the nation’s democratic experience.”
Gov. Wike formally requested for the redeployment of the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6 Division, Major General Jamil Sarhem, alleging that the commander deliberately subverted the general elections in Rivers state.
He said: “Throughout my experience politically, I have never seen the Nigerian Army play the kind of role they played during the last general elections. The Nigerian Army purely made political interferences all through.
“We will show you the visuals of the roles played by the Nigerian Army. If you go to the 6 Division, unless they have moved them out, you will see ballot boxes and electoral materials. The 6 Division served as the take off base for the electoral interference,” he alleged.
The governor requested that appropriate sanctions be meted out to the GOC of the 6 Division. because of his active involvement in the local politics of the state.
Wike regretted that the challenge came during the collation, when operatives of the Nigerian Army allegedly invaded collation centres to cart away Form EC 8C for the governorship election and Form EC 8b1 for the House of Assembly elections.
“Elections took place in Rivers state at the polling units. The only council area where elections did not hold was in Abua/Odua,” he added.
Chairman of the Nigerian Army Investigative Committee on Electoral Violence, Major General Ayibakuro Gagariga said that the committee was established by the Chief of Army Staff to investigate allegations of misconduct against the army.
He noted that the committee would look into cases of alleged interference by the army during the general elections in the state.
The highpoint of the meeting was the visual presentation of all the locations of alleged army invasion to the committee members while a pictorial overview was also presented to the committee.