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Doyin Okupe ‘Amaechi, Wike should be taken out of Rivers for peace to prevail,’ Ex-presidential aide says

Okupe said further that Wike and Amaechi’s key aides should also be relocated out of the state adding that the trend of violence during the conduct of Nigerian elections must be stopped.

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Doyin Okupe play

Doyin Okupe

Former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe has said the key to maintaining peace in the rescheduled Rivers rerun elections is to take Governor Nyesom Wike and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi out of the state.

Okupe said further that Wike and Amaechi’s key aides should also be relocated out of the state adding that the trend of violence during the conduct of Nigerian elections must be stopped.

The former presidential aide made the remarks on Monday, March 21, 2016, via Facebook in reaction to the violence that rocked Rivers during the March 19 elections in the state.

His post reads:

The scale of violence that accompanied the Rivers Re run elections is condemnable and unacceptable. All principal participants must accept responsibility for this intolerable acts savagery. By all principals I mean, PDP, APC and their leaderships, the INEC, and the entire gamut of our security agencies.

In 2016, the wanton destruction of lives and properties that accompany our elections in varying degrees is no longer excusable.

The frequent deaths of citizens, electoral officials, members of the security forces has assumed highly barbaric proportions.

Of particular importance is the reported death of innocent Youth corpers.

As a Nigerian parent whose children will still go through this national calling, I cease this opportunity to call on other Nigerian parents and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on INEC to stop with immediate effect the deployment of our children for electoral services. We can no longer bear the pain of losing our wards to mindless acts of lawlessness by thugs and hooligans acting for and on behalf of reckless, desperate and irresponsible politicians and power mongers.

INEC stands accused in all this dastardly developments. Before going into an election in any volatile area they ought to obtain full security reports of the area in question and also confer with the police and the army to get written assurance that they can guarantee the security of electoral materials and officers.

Firstly it is unacceptable that INEC will still be involved in moving electoral materials all over the place on election day. All materials for election must arrive all LGA headquarters 2weeks before election day.

They must arrive all wards one whole week before elections, only to be moved to the polling stations accompanied by security in the morning of the elections.

All personnel including security, should be at the wards at least 2days before the elections and be familiarised with their areas of duty and their security details before the D Day.

In special volatile areas like rivers and others as to be advised by police and the intelligence agencies, a minimum of 5 armed personnel per polling station with availability of standby re enforcement in each LGA quarters.

If it is impossible for any reason that these provisions can be made available, elections in such areas must be deferred.

In the case of this re run in rivers, INEC the main organ empowered by our laws to conduct and oversee elections ought to have correctly projected these events and prevented it by breaking the elections into two episodes separated by one week. It is not acceptable for INEC, after its publicly manifested incompetence, to just come up after each mayhem, technical and administrative failure, and announce gleefully that the elections are "Inconclusive".

If the present leadership in INEC are incompetent, the federal government should not waste time and continue to expose the citizenry to misery and pain. The entire organization should be overhauled.

The security agencies must keep their roles to their professional calling. Voting and the processes that are before or after it is not their business.

Politicians, thugs and all persons involved directly or indirectly in acts of violence should be tried and if found guilty should be sanctioned with punishments ranging from death sentences to life imprisonment depending on their level of involvement.

For the next re run in rivers, Gov Wike, and Amaechi and at least 10 of their proven closest aides must be moved out of rivers state into protective custody, deprived of their phones for a day before the new elections and on the day of elections.

Enough of violence in our elections.


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