Sunday, 30 March 2008


The march 29th,2008 local government election in Rivers State, Nigeria's main oil State have been substantially marred by large scale irregularities and low voters turnout.

Our reporter who went round most of the local government Areas of the State reports that in most of the polling booths, election officials were seen siting idle with no voters in sight hours after voting was supposed to have commenced.This situation was more pronounced in Portharcourt city council Area, Obio-Akpor and Ikwerre local government Areas. The governor of the State, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is from Ikwerre local government Area.

In other local government areas visited like Akuku-toru, Ogba-egbema-ndoni, Okirika and Ogu-bolo local government Areas, Policemen and men of the joint taskforce(JTF) were seen in some polling booths directing the few voters arround on whom to vote for, usually, the Peoples' Democratic Party(PDP) candidates.

At Ikuru town in Andoni local government Area, home of the State deputy governor, Mr. Tele Ikuru, youths with bloodshot eyes, wielding cutlasses and broken bottles were seen brazenly ordering the few voters arround to vote for PDP candidates, while policemen and civil defence personnels on duty sat unconcerned drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages.

In areas where voters turn out was comparatively high like Bonny,Emohua,Omuna and Eleme local government Areas,most could not vote either because of late arrival of election officials and/or materials or due to the fact that their names were not found in the voters list.

A middle level official of Rivers State independent electoral commission(RSIEC),who spoke to us on condition of anonymity said that "These factors are enough to cancel this election".