Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
The governor made this call when the new Rivers Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Obo Effanga paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
“Election can only be free and fair if INEC wants it free and fair, that is for INEC to only do the right thing required in the process,” he added.
He urged the new REC and INEC not to bow to pressure and ensure that they resist pressure from politicians in a bid to ensure credible, free and fair electoral process.
Wike called on Effanga to guard against electoral anomalies that had previously plunged the state into crisis.
The governor said that his administration had decided to provide massive democratic dividends for the masses in order to win their confidence in the 2019 elections.
“We provide projects for the communities in order to get their support; we are winning the confidence of the people; we are working hard.
“We urge INEC to do the right thing in order to avert crisis,’’ the governor said.
“The peoples’ vote must count and INEC should not give out result sheets; INEC should be transparent in the entire electoral process,” he said.
He pledged the government’s support for INEC to carry out its duties in the state.
Earlier, the new INEC commissioner, Effanga, assured the governor that INEC would conduct credible elections in Rivers.
He noted that the commission had decided to reach out to stakeholders in order to achieve success towards the conduct of free and fair elections.
Effanga stressed that out of the three million permanent voters cards in Rivers, more than two million PVCs had been collected by voters.
The REC called on those who had not collected their PVCs to go and collect theirs to enable them exercise their franchise in the forthcoming general elections in 2019.
He called on the political class to play the game by the rule in order to ensure peace, credible, free and fair elections.
“I plead with the political class on behalf of INEC to play the game by the rule; all those qualified to vote should be given fair treatment, those not registered should do so, so that we can achieve success,’’ he said.