10 March 2019
The voting yesterday for the governorship and state assembly of Rivers State appears to have turned into a predictable orgy of violence. The state is tagged as the “Rivers of Blood” because the criminal politics there involves a higher rate of violence than in other parts of the country.
Videos have been circulating all over social media of the army and police allegedly shooting at electoral commission (INEC) officials yesterday.
This has prompted a response by the British High Commission in Abuja.
The military, are by all accounts, being used by the transport minister and former governor of the state Rotimi Amaechi, who is trying to ensure that the current governor and his former chief of staff, Nyesom Wike, is not reelected.
Wike belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while Amaechi’s All Progressives Congress (APC) head the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari. The military and the police are under federal control. Incidentally, the APC were banned by the Supreme Court from fielding a candidate for the state’s governorship. Amaechi is reportedly backing the candidate of the African Action Congress (APC), Biokpomabo Awara, in an effort to stop Wike.
Edwin Enabor, an INEC official in the state, said some of his colleagues were being held at polling units by men in military uniform. The commission then issued a press notice “to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice”.