Rivers State Election: Accord Party Calls for Postponement after Candidate’s Kidnapping
The Accord Party in Rivers State has requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend the State Assembly Election in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 2 scheduled for Saturday, following the kidnapping of their candidate, Engr. Chukwudi Ogbonna.
The Accord Party’s state assembly candidate for ONELGA Constituency II was abducted by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday night in the Rumuigbo area of Port Harcourt, and has remained in captivity two days before the house of assembly election. The situation has caused alarm among family and party members.
The Chairman of the Accord Party, Comrade Nwachukwu Justice, led a peaceful demonstration at Mgbede in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, where he informed INEC of the party’s official letter to request that the state assembly election for the Constituency be suspended if Ogbonna is not released before the election. Justice stated that the party was calling on the abductors to release their candidate and also urged security agents to increase their efforts to ensure his safe return.
A member of the victim’s family, Ifeakachukwu Nwakiri, echoed the same sentiment, asking INEC to invoke Section 24 (1&2) of the Electoral Act, which gives INEC the power to postpone an election in the event of an emergency or breach of peace. Nwakiri added that the kidnapping is an emergency situation that could lead to a breach of peace.
Amb. Kelly Rufus, the leader of Egbema Massive Movement and the Strategic Media Director and Head of Contact and Mobilisation for the abducted candidate, expressed his sadness over the continued captivity of Ogbanna. Rufus also pointed out that the kidnap was politically motivated, and if not handled properly, could lead to a breakdown of law and order.
In summary, the Accord Party has called on INEC to suspend the State Assembly Election in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 2, following the kidnapping of their candidate, Engr. Chukwudi Ogbonna, and has also requested the release of their candidate by the abductors. The party has informed INEC officially of the development and asked that the election be postponed if Ogbonna is not released before the election, while members of the victim’s family and party leaders have also called for the postponement of the election citing an emergency situation and potential breach of peace.
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