The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, has decried what he described as the high level of voter intimidation in the state March 18 governorship election.
Cole spoke on alleged irregularities that greeted the Rivers governorship election in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) piloted a dominance of voter suppression that affected the turnout of voters in Rivers.
The APC candidate claimed voters were whipped and threatened to forcefully vote for PDP, adding that government officials and security personnel took control of ballot boxes in various polling units.
According to Cole, the election was not equitable, arguing that a free and fair election without any form of voter suppression would prove that Rivers is not a PDP state.
He said, “There was a build-up of intimidation, voters were intimidated. They were told not to come out, whips were bought, people were whipped. Town criers went into communities, saying that nobody should come out.
“[They said] if they came out, they will be dealt with. Voter intimidation was very heavy, so that brought down the number of people coming out to vote because they were scared.
“In some cases, before the counting of the votes occurred, police came and – this was shocking – local government chairmen and councillors were coming with their vans with the police.”
According to him, the authorities took all the electoral materials in the polling unit away and there was very little they could do.
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