Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, says the non-participation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state’s council election is the reason why the exercise was peaceful.
Wike commended the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) for the poll, saying it was credible.
According to a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, his media aide, the governor also commended the security agencies for creating the right atmosphere for the election.
He said: “Sixty-six out of 68 political parties participated, but no violence. That means that if APC had participated, probably we would have seen violence.
“Sixty-six political parties, no violence, no shooting, nobody has died.
“But, if the APC had participated, they would want to coerce security agencies, they would do all manner of negative things like bringing cultists to shoot.
“You can see that nobody hijacked materials. Everything has been peaceful.
“I have called the heads of security agencies and commended them for a job well done. That is what I have always said – allow people to vote for those they want.”
Wike said that the message to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was that they could conduct credible elections if they resisted pressures from different quarters.
“INEC can be committed to do the right thing; once they build confidence, every other thing will move on smoothly,” he said.
“We have gone round two local government areas; the elections went on peacefully and they were credible. Election materials arrived on time, except for a few places.
“Like this, nobody will complain. Observers from across the board have commended the process.”