Amaechi, Wike in Handshake During Peace Meeting on Rivers-rerun

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his predecessor, Rotimi
Amaechi, committed themselves to peace in the oil rich state on Tuesday, same
day rerun elections in the state were postponed for fear of violence.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, in statement by
its secretary, Augusta Ogakwu, announced the suspension of the National
Assembly and State Assembly rerun elections earlier slated for July 30, after
risk assessments and consultations with security agencies and relevant bodies.

“The reports of these assessments have been almost unanimous in
concluding that the prevailing security situation in most parts of the state
where elections are to hold are not conducive for peaceful elections,”
“In the Commission’s view, the rhetorics of some of the
political actors, the incidence of violence in a number of local government
areas where these elections are scheduled and the atmosphere of fear and
intimidation created present danger in proceeding with elections as earlier
Earlier, INEC conducted the rerun legislative electors on March
19, but “regrettably, the elections in all three Senatorial districts and
several other of these constituencies could not be concluded due to violent
disruption of the process which necessitated the suspension of the exercise in
all the senatorial districts and affected constituencies”.
INEC urged continuous efforts by “respected” individuals,
organisations and leaders to douse tension and ensure conducive atmosphere,
adding it has responsibility to ensure safety of electorate, electoral
personnel and observers.
The commission did not issue a fresh date for the polls, but
assured “that it is ready to conclude elections in Rivers State within shortest
time possible once security situation is conducive for the conduct of peaceful
But the main actors in Rivers , Messrs Wike and Amaechi,
were made to agree to a peace deal to end political violence in the state.
The deal was brokered by the
acting Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Director-General of
the State Security Service, Lawal Daura, police spokesperson, Donald Awunah,
said in a statement Tuesday evening.
“In a concerted effort to guarantee a violent-free and credible
re-run senatorial/house of representative elections in Rivers state, a crucial
meeting to chart the path to peace in Rivers state before, during and after the
re-run elections in the state was held today, July 26, 2016 between the inspector-general
of police, Ag IGP Ibrahim K. Idris and the director-general of Department of
State Services, Musa Daura,” Mr. Awunah said.
“The two major players in the politic of Rivers state, His
Excellency Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers state and the Hon minister of
transport, Rotimi Amaechi, were in attendance.
“The meeting deliberated on the overall need to have peaceful,
free and fair election devoid of violence, which was the hallmark of the
previous elections in the state.
“The governor, His Excellency Nyesom Wike and minister, Rotimi
Amaechi resolved to be irrevocably commit to lasting peace and vouched to play
the game by the rules in the forthcoming re-run elections in the state. They
also agreed to prevail on their teaming supporters to adhere to their
commitment to peace and security in the state.
“In addition, the two major stakeholders agreed to convene
another meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, aimed at further solidifying
the commitment to peace reached in the meeting, which is a prelude to the
roadmap that will usher a permanent and lasting peace in Rivers state.

“The meeting was held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and
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