PDP’s bloodletting and acts of terror in rivers state – the road to perfidy – Being text of a press conference by the Rivers state Chapter of the All Progressive Congress in Port Harcourt on Tuesday the 27th of January, 2015. PROTOCOLS
The greatest obstacle to democratic consolidation in Nigeria is electoral violence. Pre-election violence particularly, is as a result of the rascally disposition of some desperate and greedy politicians who want to secure electoral victory by subverting the process and undermining the rule of law. Whilst the tendency for violence by the People Democratic Party (PDP) is common place, the progressive degeneracy of the situation in Rivers State has assumed an intolerable and indeed dangerous dimension. Apart from the fact that this phenomenon affects the credibility of the electoral process, the legitimacy of the election results and the rule of law; the nature, extent and magnitude of violence indicate unequivocally it is a deliberate tool for intimidation and terror adopted as a policy and backed by security institutions who are paid from our commonwealth to protect our citizens
Whilst election is an irreducible feature of democratic governance, democracy is a social system of administering a nation-state where political parties candidates compete for elective positions in a free and fair election atmosphere, and in which the citizens are legally empowered to choose those who will run the affairs of the state in a given period. Elections are supposed to be competitive, free and fair both substantively and procedurally. Despite the legal frame work that guides the electoral process, the PDP has opted to thread the part of terror as an instrument of divesting the people of their constitutionally guaranteed power to freely cast their votes for their preferred leaders.
Electoral violence is any random or organized act that seeks to determine, delay or otherwise influence an electoral process through threat, verbal intimidation, hate speech, disinformation, physical assault, forced protection, destruction of property or assassination. The aim of electoral violence is either to influence the outcome of the process or to disrupt the entire electoral process.
Rivers State has over the years evolved as the oil and gas nerve centre of Nigeria. It has a growing population of about 5.1 million (the sixth most populous State in the Country) and impressive GDP of 21.07 billion USD – which is bigger than most African Countries such as Botswana, Rwanda, Nambia, Lesotho and etc. the enviable economic and socio-political scorecard of Rivers State has made electable positions attractive. Elections in Nigeria determine who controls and allocates resources and because of the strategic nature of Rivers State in the socio-political and economic calculus of the Country, the PDP controlled Federal Government spear headed by Mrs. Patience Jonathan (whose foot soldier is the obnoxious Nyesom Wike) has turned the contest for the control of the state resources into a fratricidal, tense and brutal one sided war.