1. The purpose of this press conference is to draw the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the evolving plan by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army Major General Jamil Sarham and the Commander State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) ACP. Akin Victor Fakorede to destabilize, rig and abort the peaceful conduct of the 2019 elections in the riverine communities of Rivers State.
2. As we all know the Presidential and National Assembly elections have been rescheduled to take place nationwide on the 23rd of February 2019 while the 9th of March 2019 is for the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
3. The All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have repeatedly promised to ensure that these elections peaceful will be free, fair and credible.
4. However, while we are committed to the success of these elections, some senior security officers, particularly, the above named duo are constituting serious stumbling block to the realization of this exercise in our riverine communities of Rivers State.
5. As security officers we expected General Sarham and Mr. Akin Fakorede to be neutral, honest and fair in the discharge of their election duties to the nation.
6. This is not the case as both men have profoundly signed on to the evolving plan by the Amaechi-led APC to destabilize, rig and scuttle the peaceful conduct of the elections.
7. Reports reaching us indicate that with absolute defeat staring them in its face, the APC has recruited and armed some bandits to enable it actualize its devilish plan to rig and or prevent the elections from holding in all the riverine Local Government Areas of Akuku Toru, Andoni, Asari Toru, Bonny, Degema, Ogu/Bolo Okrika and Opobo/Nkoro.
10. These bandits have been detailed to storm our communities in speedboats and attack, overrun, and disrupt the voting process and destroy voting materials to such extent that would justify the total cancellation of the elections.
11. In order to shore up support and enable this plot to succeed, the APC has allegedly connived with the duo of Major General Jamil Sarham and ACP. Akin Victor Fakorede to provide cover for the APC bandits who will be clad in police and military uniforms.
12. Furthermore, they have also been detailed to assemble a detachment of loyal operatives to work hand in gloves with the APC to actualize its overall objectives of violently orchestrating low voter turn out in the entire riverine local government areas where the PDP enjoys massive followership.
13. To strengthen the afore-mentioned operations, Major General Jamil Sarham has allegedly also directed the deployment of gunboats to patrol, block the waterways and prevent indigenes and residents from getting to their homes from Friday 22nd February 2019.
14. Confirmed reports also show that Major General Sarham and ACP Akin Fakorede have penciled for arrest and detain the Council and Party Chairmen of all the eight Local Government Councils and other principal PDP leaders in our communities until after the Presidential election.
16. ACP Akin Fakorede is not new to playing such ignoble roles in Rivers State elections. He did it in 2016 against the PDP during the National and State House of Assembly re-run elections and was accordingly indicted by INEC for his criminal actions.
17. ACP Akin Fakorede who was posted along with others for election duties to Bornu State has now been surreptitiously returned to Rivers State despite his infamous antecedent as an unrepentant election rigger.
18. As the facts have shown Major General Sarham and Mr. Akin Fakorede are openly sympathetic to the APC and pathologically biased against the PDP.
19. Indeed, we forced to conclude that they are card-carrying members of the APC and, therefore, are not and cannot be expected to be neutral in the discharge of election duties in which their party, the APC is directly involved
20. The fact that we are a peaceful people is not in doubt and we do not want anything to upset the prevailing peace and sense of security in our communities and Local Government Areas.
20. We are therefore happy with the promise by INEC to ensure that the 2019 general elections are peaceful, free, fair and credible.
21. But it is becoming increasingly difficult for us or anybody else to believe that this promise would stand with the evolving partisan disposition and involvement of the military and the police in the administration of the elections in Rivers State.
22. We are constrained therefore to call on the international community, especially the United States, Britain and the European Union to bring to bear, maximum pressure on INEC and the Federal Government to allow peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in our communities.
23. We further request the international community to monitor the administration of the general elections in the eight riverine Local Government Areas of the State.
24. We strongly re-state that we have no confidence in the integrity and neutrality of Major General Sarham and ACP. Akin Fakorede as senior security officers and consequently request them to recuse themselves from election duties in Rivers State before they create avoidable crisis of limitless dimensions in our communities.
25. Finally, we call on all Nigerians and the international community, to hold Major Geneal Sarham and ACP. Akin Fakorede directly responsible for any violence and or loss of lives and property in our communities on account of their patently partisan actions.
26. Thank you for your attention and may God continue to bless our dear Rivers State.
His Excellency Engr. Tele Ikuru
Former Deputy Governor of Rivers State
For PDP Stakeholders of the Eight LGAs