By Andy Chukwu
Rivers State is now surrounded by an atmosphere of anxiety as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s fact-finding committee on the suspended Rivers State elections completed its work in Port Harcourt.
Sources at INEC revealed that the committee has finished its task in the state and was reporting its finding to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. The reports is expected to be turned in today.
“They did not tell us anything. They are reporting to Abuja, and that is where a decision will be taken,” a source said.
During the duration of the inquiry, the two main political blocks in the elections, the Peoples Democratic Party backed with the Forum of Political Parties in the state; and the African Action Congress backed by the All Progressives Congress, had embarked on series of public relations and opinion influencing activities to back up their respective claims of leading the polls before the process was suspended.
This was against the fact that INEC at the state level has not endorsed any result from any of the LGA.
Now with the committee members return to Abuja to submit their reports, these political actors are now anxiously waiting for the next action of the electoral umpire as it will have to decide whether to have fresh polls or continue with the collation exercise.
“I can’t say for now until we see the members of the committee and get their report. All of us are still in the situation room.”
The commission had on Sunday set up the committee to investigate alleged “widespread disruptions” of Saturday’s governorship and state parliamentary elections, after it stopped all electoral process in the state.
“We appeal to the people of Rivers State, particularly the voters, for their understanding as we look into the circumstances of these disruptions and what further actions need to be taken,” the commission said in a statement.
Officials of the INEC Rivers State office were believed to have reported the incidents of disruptions and violence during voting and at collation centres to the Abuja headquarters following reports from local areas.