THE Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has emerged winner of the House of Assembly rerun election held last Saturday, clearing the six remaining constituencies in the four local government areas the election took place.
Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State who contested in the April 11 House of Assembly elections boycotted the rerun poll which were held in the four council areas, including Emohua, Ahoada East, Etche and Opobo/Nkoro.
Addressing a press conference last Friday evening, leader of the APC candidates, Chidi Lloyd, representing Emohua constituency, said the decision to boycott the election was in tandem with a court injunction at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, restraining INEC from carrying out the exercise.
However, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, on Monday, said the PDP candidates, having satisfied the requirements of the electoral law and based on the report of the election by the Returning Officers (ROs), had been declared winners.
The elected PDP candidates included Martyins Umana (Ahoada East 1), Ehie Ogerenye Edison (Ahoada East II), Ogeh Samue (Emuoha), Opurum Iroanya Nwuzoma (Etche I), Tony Uchechukwu Ejiogu (Etche II) and Diri Kelly Adonye (Opobo/Nkoro).
INEC, in the statement said all the elected members of the Rivers State House of Assembly would be issued their certificates of return at a later date to be announced by the commission.
Meanwhile, Rivers State governor-elect, Chief Nyesom Wike and his deputy, Dr (Mrs) Ipalibo Banigo-Harry, on Monday, received their Certificates of Return as the duly elected governor and deputy governor of the state.
The duo were presented with the certificates in Port Harcourt by the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in charge of Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers states, Mrs Thelma Iremiren.
Speaking after collecting the certificate of return, Wike assured the people of the state that he would promote development in the state.
Accusing the state chapter of the APC of plotting to manipulate the mandate of the people through the judiciary, he said PDP would, however, never be intimidated.
Wike said PDP survived in Rivers State because God had destined the party to liberate the state, adding “the people of Rivers State will never regret their support for PDP during the elections.
“We assure PDP members in Rivers State that the intimidation tactics introduced by the outgoing administration through a phantom judicial commission of inquiry will fail. We shall continue to stand by our members.”
He also called on the APC governorship candidate, Honourable Dakuku Peterside and other governorship candidates to join hands with him to develop the state, which resource he promised would not be used to instigate conflict among the people.
Speaking earlier, the INEC National Commissioner (Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers states), Mrs Iremiren, urged all elected officials to live up to the expectations of the people.