Wike Hails INEC, SAYS 2023 Election Was With Less Violence, Death
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, says Nigerians should commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting the 2023 general election with reduced violence and death experienced across the country.
Governor Wike recalled how previous elections under INEC have been characterized by violence, with avoidable deaths amidst desperation of politicians to have their way, made possible because of the mode of voting that was previously adopted.
Governor Wike made the observation at the swearing in of chairmen and members of Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, and Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) at Government House in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
The governor noted that even if the Bi-Modal Voters Accreditation Machine System (BIVAS) used by INEC in the 2023 general election did not perform optimally, so much success was achieved, because its use alone frustrated antics of security agencies who induce violence.
The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC, has Hon. Justice Adolphus Enebeli, (rtd) as the chairman, with Prof Emenike Weli, Barr Adolphus. A. Brown, Dr Lasbury Nnah, Pastor Tamunotonye Tobins, Barr (Mrs) Chinwe Ihua-Maduenyi and Mrs Nuka Kponi as members.
For the Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board has Prof. Blessing Jaja as the chairman, Dr Kinikanwo Green as the Executive Director and
Dr Clarabell Abam, Dr (Mrs) Gladys Horsefall-Okafor, Madam Gladys Ihunda and Dr Famba O. Famba as members.
Governor Wike said no election is perfect, but it is always better that the subsequent ones are seen to be an improvement on the previous one, to make people believe in the process.
“That is why I tell people that if for nothing, Nigerians should commend INEC that they reduced the level of violence, the level of death because without this BIVAS, before we were fighting with security agencies, they were carrying electoral materials, hijack electoral officials, but now it is difficult.
“So, no matter the inadequacies, you’ll see that there was an improvement in terms of reduction of violence which is key, because in our electoral process it has always been killing, hijacking of materials, and using of security wrongly.”
Governor Wike stressed that Nigerians have accepted the outcome of the election and what INEC was able to deliver, and have moved on.
The governor said the disturbing trend with Nigerian system is that when people are apprehended and are guilty of the electoral offence, they appeared not to be sanctioned, or punished in order to serve as a deterrent to others.
He however, expressed the hope that the federal government will increase the capacity of INEC to do better in the next election.
To RSIEC, Governor Wike charged the chairman and his members to use their wealth of experience to ensure a successful transition when the local government election date is fixed next year.
He urged them to work as a team to achieve their given mandate, given the ample time that they have to prepare for the election.
To the members of the Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, governor Wike, who noted that the previous board did very well, charged them to build on that success record.
Governor Wike urged them to bring their professional expertise to bear by improving on the system, serve the best interest of the State with greater commitment.
The governor said having been appointed to serve a four year tenure, so much is expected of them and they can only achieve more if they do not focus on making money alone, but work as a team in improving the healthcare delivery mechanism in the State.
In his response, the Chairman of RSIEC, Justice Adolphus Enebeli (Rtd) said they are exceedingly grateful to be found fit and proper persons to serve in such capacity in the interest of the State.
Justice Enebeli gave the assurance that they will observe the fidelity to the sanctity of electoral processes and procedures in the conduct of local government elections within the extant laws to the end that there shall be credible, fair and free conduct of local government election in Rivers State.
On his part, the Chairman of the Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Prof. Blessing Jaja thanked the governor for giving them the opportunity to serve and assured that they will not disappoint the expectation on them as they work assiduously to move the board’s activities forward.