By Willie Etim Port Harcourt
The non-inclusion of candidates of the Rivers state chapter of the All
Progressives Congress, APC, on the ballot papers for today’s elections
has become a source of great worry to the Senator representing Rivers
south east senatorial district in the Senate, Senator Magnus Abe.
Abe regretted as at Thursday that there was no valid chance for the
candidates of the APC to be listed on the ballot papers for today’s
National Assembly elections. The implication of this is that APC will
not have any representation in both the Senate and the House of
This followed a statement by the chairman of the independent national
electoral commission, INEC, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu that he stood by
the decision of the Supreme Court that there is no candidate from
Rivers state on the ballot for the elections.
“There is no valid chance for any APC candidates to be on the ballot
for this election without a pronouncement from the court of law”, he
He however expressed optimism that in the second phase of the 2019
elections, the names of the APC candidates may be included on the
ballot papers depending on the turnout of events in the court.
Abe also said that the only opportunity for the party in the state to
have names of its candidates on the ballot was his case at the Appeal
Court wherein he prayed the court to declare him the authentic
governorship candidate of the APC other than the choice of Architect
Tonye Dele Cole. He lost out in that case.
On the controversial statement of ‘shoot on sight’ statement by
President Mohammadu Buhari to potential ballot box snatchers, Senator
Abe wondered why people should be worried over the order, adding that
the instruction by the President was only re-assuring.
“I find the President’s statement reassuring. There is no big deal in
what he said. If any soldier shoots innocent persons, the people can
video him and make that public so that such soldier could be
apprehended to account for his action.
“Nobody should feel threatened by that statement because I don’t see
anything wrong with it, in the first place. There have been troubles
in our previous elections in this country. My property was burnt
during elections. National Youth Corp members last Saturday who came
to work for INEC in the postponed elections were attacked by hoodlums
and their belongings taken away”, he said.