The Rivers State PDP has storm INEC office with native doctor and fetish items.
The main entrance to the Rivers State headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was on Tuesday turned into a makeshift shrine as the protest in front of the INEC office by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) entered a second day, on Tuesday.
The protesters, who are demanding joint inspection of the 2023 election materials with other political parties, were accompanied by a native doctor, who placed a ceramic pot in front of INEC office.
A man dressed in white attire and a traditional cap to match could be seen in a video standing barefooted, making incantations and pouring libation using liquid substances.
Some protesters were seen performing what appears to be ritual rites in the Ikwerre language.
“We are Ikwerre, the owners of Rivers State, yes we have all the tribes like Kalabari and others. We won all the votes here. If we won it justly then we will enjoy our victory if we didn’t win it let them take their victory,” the man who poured the libation said, according to the transcription by Channels television.
The protesters warned INEC that if it misbehaves, the land should “take them” but if the right thing is done they would enjoy the land and good things would follow them.
Tonye Cole, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was reportedly attacked by the protesters while trying to honour an appointment with INEC officials on Monday.
One of the leaders of the protest, Samuel Nwanosike, the chairperson of Ikwerre Local Government Area, in a short video on Monday posted on Facebook called for the arrest and prosecution of Mr Cole.
He had vowed that the protest would continue until the commission met their demands.
INEC, in a statement on Tuesday, by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Johnson Sinikiem, solicited the cooperation of political parties seeking to inspect the materials used for the elections in the state.
The commission made no mention of the ongoing protest at its office on Monday but promised to grant about 50 applicants access to materials “without preferences or bias”
“The Commission have advised all applicants to visit our Local Government offices where these documents are domiciled for inspection while we work out modalities for inspection of other documents domiciled at the State office in accordance with available spaces but they insisted that the huge volumes of documents like ballot papers be brought to the state office.
“They are once again reminded to avail themselves of this opportunity at our Local Government offices to inspect these materials as earlier advised.
“The Management of INEC Rivers State, therefore, wishes to assure all applicants and the general public that the Commission is committed to discharging its constitutional and lawful duties without preferences or bias, and do request the cooperation and understanding of all parties and the general public to enable us serve you better,” Mr Sinikiem said.