Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan has charged the country’s police force to apprehend and prosecute thugs who disrupted Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections to serve as deterrence to others.
According to astute statesman, it would be disappointing if the police failed to do so.
Jonathan stated this shortly after he voted at unit 39 ward 13 in Otuoke polling unit in Bayelsa State. Only House of Assembly election held in the state being one of the states with off-season governorship elections.
The former president condemned cases of violence and voter suppression recorded in some parts of the state and in some parts of the country. He decried hijacking and destruction of voting materials in the Constituency 2 of his Ogbia Local Government Area by suspected party thugs.
He stated, “The police must arrest all those involved. If they feel challenged they should go through the governor to get the military involved. All those involved in that act must be arrested and prosecuted. We are all watching. If the police fail to do that, we will feel terribly disappointed.
“Nobody should mess up our electoral system. In the past, those kinds of criminal acts took place but the country is moving (forward) and some criminals cannot push us backwards. The world is watching Nigeria and we cannot allow criminal elements to push us backwards. They must be stopped and the security operatives; the police, army and SSS in Bayelsa State must make sure that all those involved in that criminal act are prosecuted.
“I believe Nigeria has decided that we must select our leaders. Any country that the ballot papers cannot help select their leaders, that means the country is doomed. So, we must run a system where the ballot will decide who leads them either at the level of the president, governor or the parliamentarians.”
He said if early arrival of results as witnessed in his area was reflective of what obtained in most parts of the country, it would mean INEC was improving. In terms of general security, it is peaceful here but I am disturbed because within my local government, I learnt that the state constituency 2, the Anyama part of Ogbia, there was a crisis and materials were burnt.”
He said aggrieved candidates should go to court.
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, decried the shortcomings experienced in the elections. He said the Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State had no power to declare anybody wanted.
Amaechi spoke after voting in Ubima, Ikwerre LGA of Rivers State on Saturday. Earlier, Wike declared 27 politicians of opposition political parties wanted over an alleged plot to disrupt the elections, but Amaechi faulted the directive.
He said, “The police are helping the PDP to arrest APC, SDP members. People are getting arrested and nobody has spoken. The governor has no right to declare anybody wanted whatsoever. People are being declared wanted and the Inspector-General of Police is doing nothing. Nobody is doing anything. Complete failure.”