The rerun elections in Rivers State last Saturday are becoming difficult to define. The aftermath is generating ripples that seemingly walk truth on its head. The line between truth and lies is becoming thinner by the minute.
The confusion is so heightened that getting to know the truth of the situation is like picking a needle in a bay of hay.
The accusations and counter accusations from the two major political parties in the elections – the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party – are like stoking the tide of genius. They are both speaking the truth and not speaking the truth. Which of the two do we believe?
For instance, an Independent National Electoral Commission officer, Mrs Ekwi Adebisa, who was collation officer for Ward 10, Port Harcourt, was said to have been rescued from the hands of PDP that pressurised her to doctor result, according to a side of the story.
Another side had it that when she was found to have manipulated result in favour of APC, she was arrested and Transport Minister, Chibuike Ameachi and Dakuku Peterside had gone to police station to free her to no avail.
Haba,! How could she have performed a dual role at the same election, working for both parties at the same time?
Take the ‘attack’ on the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in in the last governorship election and now Managing Director of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside.
On Sunday, media aide to Peterside, Sylvestet Asoya cried blue murder that his Master was almost killed by gunmen led by Governor Nyesom Wike’s Chief of Staff, Emeka Woke.
The statement said: “Two Jeeps belonging to Emeka Woke, Nyesom Wike’s Chief of Staff, carrying two unknown gunmen trailed us to UTC Junction and opened fire on my car. Our car however did a detour to the DSS office gate where we drove to seek refuge but the unknown gunmen opened fire again at the SSS men on guard.
“The exchange of fire between the DSS men and the assailants lasted for more than 30 minutes. This is a very ugly experience but I thank God that my colleagues and I escaped unhurt. Today’s experience is not only terrifying but also shows the parlous state of security in Rivers State.
“If I can be engaged openly by gunmen for nearly an hour in the heart of Port Harcourt, only God knows the fate that will befall members of our party and those sympathetic to our predicament. What is happening today in our dear state is not only horrible, but also constitutes serious national security risk”, he said.
However, on Monday, the Governor’s side accused Peterside of trying to kill an aide to the Governor’s Chief of Staff on Sunday.
Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, said in a statement that Peterside “directed his security details to murder an aide to the Chief of Staff to Governor Wike while fleeing with some result sheets from Ikwerre Local Government Area.
“The incident took place at the UTC junction in GRA after Dakuku Peterside instead of taking Ikwerre Local Government Area result sheets snatched from collation officers to INEC office drove with it towards the GRA.
“He had stormed the Collation Centre in Isiokpo with soldiers after which he hijacked the already collated results, which included the Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency. Chief of Staff to Governor Wike, Engr Emeka Woke is a PDP Collation Agent for Emohua Local Government Area. Dakuku Peterside, plays politics from Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area and has no links with Ikwerre Local Government Area.
“After he snatched the results alongside his defeated running mate, Asita Asita, Dakuku Peterside and the soldiers fled towards Port Harcourt. The PDP leaders of Ikwerre and Emohua Federal Constituency followed suit.
“At Omagwa near the airport, the soldiers withdrew leaving the SARS personnel from Abuja to take over the electoral theft operation. At Omagwa, defeated APC candidate for Ikwerre State Constituency, Azubike Wanjoku attempted to murder the LGA Electoral Officer when he used his Armoured Sports Utility Vehicle to ram into the Electoral Officer’s car. The SARS personnel with Dakuku Peterside also opened fire on the rest of the people. The Electoral Officer was shot.
“It was from this point that Dakuku Peterside motorcade in neck-breaking speed drove towards Port Harcourt.
“Chief of Staff to Governor Wike, Engr Emeka Woke became a victim as the same SARS personnel with Dakuku Peterside opened fire on the vehicle of the Chief of Staff.”
Who is telling the truth?
Those Killed. May their soul rest in perfect peace. Various account on how they were felled have invaded the consciousnesses of the nation. At a point they said to be killed by PDP agents, at another time they were killed by APC thugs. Lies, lies are flying too many in the air!
INEC and the security agencies will do the nation good by speaking up, to separate truth from lies, in the midst of these cacophonies that have fouled the democratic space of Rivers’ people.