2019 Army Elections Interference, the worst in nation’s history, Governor Wike To Army Investigative Committee

2019 Army Elections Interference, the worst in nation’s history, Governor Wike To Army Investigative Committee.

The roles played by Nigerian Army during the 2019 elections is the worst in nation’s history.

Rivers  State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the negative roles played by the Nigerian Army during the 2019 general  elections is the worst in the history of the country, saying that the Nigerian Army’s political interference in the state is the most unfortunate infraction in the nation’s  democratic  experience.
Governor Wike formally requested for the redeployment  of the General Officer Commanding ( GOC) 6 Division,  Major General Jamil Sarhem for deliberately  subverting the general   elections  in Rivers State .

Governor Wike spoke on Friday when he granted audience to  the Nigerian Army Committee on Electoral Violence during the 2019 at the Government House,  Port Harcourt.

He said: “Throughout  my experience politically, I have never seen the Nigerian Army play the kind of role they played during the last General Elections.
“The Nigerian Army purely made political  interferences all through.  We will show you the visuals of the roles played by the Nigerian Army.  If you go to the 6 Division,  unless they have moved them out, you will see ballot boxes and  electoral  materials.  The 6 Division  served as the take off base for the Electoral Interference.
“We formally request that appropriate sanctions be meted out to the GOC of the 6 Division.  It has never happened that the Army Division becomes the operational base of a political party.  This GOC became actively involved  in politics. He has his own Government  in Rivers State.  He has no respect for civil authority.
“We seek the immediate redeployment of the GOC, Major General Jamil Sarhem.  He cannot  fight crime. Leaving the GOC here, will be creating more crisis. He is here to fight crime and not to play politics.  If soldiers fight crime, the way they intervened in last elections,  there will be no kidnapper anywhere “.
He said that elections  took place across  Rivers State in the polling units.  He noted that aside Abua/Odual Local Government Area,  Rivers people voted.
The Governor regretted that the challenge  came during the Collation,  when operatives  of the Nigerian Army invaded Collation Centres to cart away Form EC 8C for the Governorship Election  and Form EC 8b1 for the House  of Assembly elections.
“Elections  took place in Rivers  State at the polling units.  The only LGA  where elections  did not hold was in Abua/Odual.
“It was during the Collation  that operatives of the Nigerian Army interfered. They will invade a Collation Centre,  arrest the Electoral Officer,  Returning Officer  and mercilessly beat up the PDP agents. They carted away Form EC 8c for the Governorship election and Form EC 8b for the House of Assembly elections “, Governor Wike told the Army  Investigative Committee.
Governor Wike took time to enumerate  the areas where the Nigerian Army  unleashed  violence and  deaths  on Rivers people.  He also listed the names of Army Personnel  who led the operations.
The Governor regretted  that the Nigerian Army was relegated beyond comprehension  as the GOC  took orders from the Minister of Transportation on the deployment of soldiers  to opposition leaders in the state.
He noted that the situation  became so bad that the Minister of Transportation  had more than a platoon of soldiers  attached  to him each time he visited Rivers State to carry out his anti-democratic  activities.
The Governor stated that soldiers  indiscriminately  arrested and  detained over 200 PDP leaders agents and supporters  at Bori Camp before, during and after the 2019 Governorship and State Assembly elections.
He said as a sitting governor, he has no soldiers  attached to him, but ordinary  opposition  leaders have several soldiers  attached  to them for illegal  activities during the elections.

Governor Wike said the committee  should ensure that that it unravels  all the illegal actions taken by the Nigerian Army during the elections .

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He particularly  decried the invasion  of the home of the Rivers  State  Education Commissioner , the harrassment of his family  and his subsequent  arrest.

Governor Wike informed  the committee  that in one of the post election briefings at Bori Camp, the GOC wondered why the soldiers failed to kill him.

Also speaking,  Rivers State Education Commissioner,  Dr Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja outlined  the trauma he faced alongside  his family  during the invasion  of his home by the Nigerian Army.
He  explained  how he was interrogated  by the GOC at the 6 Division after his arrest.  The Commissioner  shocked  the committee when he informed  that upon his release he was driven home by the Rivers State Commander of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad,  Akin Fakorede.
Chairman of the Nigerian Army Investigative committee on Electoral Violence,  Major General Ayibakuro Gagariga  said the committee  was established  by the Chief of Army Staff to investigate allegations of misconduct  against  the Nigerian Army.
He noted that the committee  would look into cases of alleged  interference  by the Nigerian Army during the General Elections in Rivers State.
“There was the killing of Lt Gumi in Abonnema.  Others were also killed  during  the elections  in Rivers State.  There is also the allegation on the attempt  to assassinate the Rivers State Governor “, he said.
Highpoint  of the meeting was the visual presentation  of all the locations  of Army invasion to the committee members. The governor also presented a pictorial  overview  of the interference  of the Nigerian Army in the Electoral Process in the state.