The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Ibim Seminitari, says she is bemused by an attempt by the Rivers State Government to distort facts of the incident at the Mile One Police Divisional headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Seminiatari said it was Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in the company of his retinue of aides, who invaded the police station and held the Collation Officer for Port Harcourt Ward Ten, Ekwi Adebisa, hostage.
She recounted that those in Wike company included Senator George Sekibo, Austin Opara, and Azubuike Nmerukini.
In a statement by her Special Adviser on Media, Bekee Anyalewechi, Seminitari said whereas it is not her style to join issues with any tier of government, it was imperative to state the facts because of the need to safeguard Nigeria’s electoral process and strengthen the confidence of the populace in the leadership of the country.
The statement noted that the Port Harcourt Ward Ten Collation Officer was moved by force to the police station.
She alleged that while at the Police Station, agents of the Rivers State Government brought her under duress to write a statement that she had been abducted and made to falsify the Ward result by agents of All Progressives Congress.
The NDDC Boss said the PDP agents criminally forced the Ward Collation Officer to give up the result she had lawfully collated.
She said it was shocking to read a statement issued by Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakudu, linking her to facts contrary to the truth.
The statement by her spokesman said Semenitari could not have engaged in any conduct unbecoming of her status, as a responsible citizen and a public officer.
It reads, “We have received with bemusement the attempt by the Rivers State Government and its image managers to retell the facts of the incident of Sunday, March 20 which occurred at the Mile 1 Police Divisional headquarters in Port Harcourt when Rivers State Governor, Ezebuwon Wike, in company with a retinue of aides, invaded the police station, held the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Collation Officer for Port Harcourt Ward 10, Mrs. Ekwi Adebisa, hostage.
“Whereas it is not in our style to join issues with any tier of government, it is imperative that we state the facts because of the need to safeguard our electoral process and strengthen the confidence of our people in their leaders.
“Mrs Ekwi Adebisa, the Port Harcourt City Ward 10 Collation Officer, for the March 19 rerun legislative election in Rivers State, was moved by force to the police station. The result she had collated was separated from her. While at the police station, agents of the Rivers State Government, brought her under duress to write a statement that she had been abducted and made to falsify the Ward result by agents of All Progressives Congress, APC.
“That they forced her to the police station and kept under traumatic condition was in itself, criminal. But that they had forced the result she had lawfully collated out of her custody was more criminal.
“Governor Wike had arrived the police station accompanied by Sen. George Sekibo, Mr. Austin Opara, Azubuike Nmerukini, as well as other aides of the governor.
“As a leader in APC, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, Acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, being in attendance at the meeting, was among those delegated to go see what the actual development was.
“When Semenitari and others arrived the police facility, they confirmed the report. .
“In conclusion, we state therefore, that it was shocking to read a statement issued by Mr. Simeon Nwakudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media, linking Semenitari to facts contrary to the truth as stated here. As a responsible citizen and public officer, Semenitari could not have engaged in any conduct unbecoming of her status.
“As a Nigerian and Rivers daughter, she would always and at all times, protect and defend what promotes good governance. May God keep us all safe in these curious times that try our people’s souls.”