Former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), contested Saturday’s governorship election in River State against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and not the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Amaechi, a former governor of the state, described elections conducted by INEC under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as “completely hopeless.”
He told journalists in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, after casting his vote at his polling unit, that the INEC Chairman was nominated for reappointment by a member of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s camp. Amaechi, who contested against Tinubu during the APC presidential primaries, said he was one of those who kicked against Yakubu’s reappointment. “I have spoken to everybody concerned on this issue before the election. There are those of us who opposed the reappointment of Mahmood. “The person, who nominated him for appointment is a member of Tinubu’s camp. So, what were you expecting – success?
“Here in Rivers State, Mahmood worked under (Governor Nyesom) Wike as Executive Secretary of TETFUND (Tertiary Education Trust Fund). “So, what you see here in Rivers State is that APC, SDP and the rest are contesting election, not against PDP (but) against INEC, against police,” he said. Wike was Minister of State for Education at the time Prof. Yakubu was Executive Secretary of TETFUND. The former minister is having a running battle with the governor, since he left office in 2015, for the control of Rivers politics. On the eve of Saturday’s governorship election, the candidates of the APC and Social Democratic Party (SDP), protested at the state police headquarters against the alleged arrest of members of opposition by the Rivers State governor. Amaechi described the governorship and House of Assembly election in Rivers State as a complete failure based on intimidation of voters by thugs.