Barrister Nyesom Wike

Landslide for PDP’s Wike in Rivers, Amidst Rigging Claims by Opposition

Barrister Nyesom Wike of Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic Party on Saturday won back control of the key oil-producing state of Rivers, official results showed this Monday morning, after rigging claims by the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

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According to the electoral commission, Barrister Wike from President Goodluck Jonathan’s PDP had 1,029,102 votes, while Dakuku Peterside of the APC had 124,896 votes.

Supporters of the APC, however, have shown displeasure at the outcome of the poll results and the elections itself in the state was marked with severe degrees of violence.

The State, which is at present being controlled by Rotimi Amaechi of the APC, described the result as “a rape of democracy,” but the PDP said it was a “a reflection of the people’s confidence” in them.

Rivers was a key battleground for both parties in the gubernatorial elections held on Saturday, 11 April 2015, given the oil and gas sector that is largely based in the southern delta region.

Tensions were high because outgoing governor Rotimi Amaechi had switched sides from the PDP to the APC in 2013 and become a vocal critic of Jonathan’s government.

There were widespread claims from the APC of PDP irregularities in voting in the State at the presidential election held two weeks ago, leading to demonstrations and calls for a re-run.

Rivers voted nearly 95 percent in favour of Jonathan, but the president lost the election nationally to the APC’s Muhammadu Buhari, who secured the first opposition win in the country’s history.

The State’s information commission Ibim Semenitari said of the gubernatorial result: “What happened on Saturday was a rape of democracy. There was no election in Rivers.

“The PDP in connivance with INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) and the security agencies merely wrote figures which they have churned out to the public,” she told AFP.

She added: “We are going to challenge the results.”

Local PDP spokesman Emmanuel Okha, however, said: “The people have spoken. We urge the APC to accept the results in good faith.”

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