INEC said the governor’s comment was dangerous and capable of inciting people to commit violence.
Wike had accused INEC of releasing an APC dominated list of ad-hoc staff, for the December 10 rerun elections. According to him, INEC had included APC ward chairmen and ward secretaries as assistant presiding officers.
But in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the commission strongly condemned the governor, stating that his comments were capable of inciting the people to commit violence.
The commission therefore appealed to stakeholders to henceforth refrain from making pronouncements that could either overheat the state or instigate their followers to violence.
The commission also reassured Nigerians it’s impartiality and commitment to conducting credible, fair and transparent elections at all times.
The statement reads: ” Commission condemns, in very strong terms, the relentless false allegations, provocative and dangerous comments being made by some political actors, especially the Governor of River State, Mr. Nyesom Wike against the Commission, all of which are capable of inciting people to commit violent acts that could derail the election.
“We appeal to stakeholders to henceforth refrain from making pronouncements that could either overheat the state or instigate their followers to violence. We also appeal to all the political parties and their supporters to abide by all the extant laws governing the electoral process.
“We wish to reassure all Nigerians that the Commission will remain impartial and committed to conducting credible, fair and transparent elections at all times.”
The Commission hereby restates its determination to conclude the elections in Rivers State in a free, fair, and transparent manner on the said Saturday, 10th December 2016.
The recent Edo and Ondo governorship elections, according to the commission, “eloquently speak of the feat that can be achieved if all stakeholders do the needful.”
The Commission also stated all the various efforts made to ensure that the elections were concluded, which include stakeholders meetings.
After months of wide consultations with stakeholders aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere, the Commission announced on 3rd November 2016 that the elections would hold on Saturday 10th December 2016.
It will be recalled that in obedience to court orders resulting from disputes over the 2015 General Elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted re-run elections in Rivers State on 19th March, 2016, to fill various seats in the National and Rivers state House of Assembly. Unfortunately, the outbreak of violence forced the Commission to suspend the exercise.