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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the heavy deployment of soldiers in Rivers ahead of Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state is for the good of the people. According to him, with military personnel supporting other security agencies already on ground, the exercise would be more secure, thereby avoiding unnecessary loss of lives. Amaechi made the statement when a delegation of British High Commission to Nigeria paid him a visit at his residence in Port Harcourt, the capital, on Friday. He said, “With the presence of the military in Rivers State for Saturday’s elections, everybody, including the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party members are protected. They (military) will beef up security in the state.” The minister stated that the elections of 2015 could not in any way be compared to the 2019 general elections in terms of security situation in Rivers. Speaking further, Amaechi revealed his decision to endorse the governorship candidate of the African Action Congress in Saturday’s election. He said, “My party is not on the ballot for Saturday’s elections and you know I have the right to vote; that is why I will vote for the candidate of the AAC.” Calling for peace ahead of the exercise, head of the British High Commission to Nigeria delegation, Louis Edwards, said they were in Port Harcourt to support free, fair and credible elections. She said, “We are here to support free, fair and peaceful elections. “We have engaged major stakeholders such as politicians, security chiefs and INEC personnel on the need to have peaceful elections.” .

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed regrets over the omission of the acronym of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the results sheet for Saturday’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Zamfara.

This is contained in a statement signed by the commission’s National Secretary, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony, and made available to newsmen in Gusau on Friday.

The statement with reference number INEC/SEC/265/Vol.ll/X and dated 8/3/2019 was circulated to the chairmen of all political parties and other stakeholders in the state.

It recalled its earlier compliance to a Zamfara High Court ruling No. ZMS/GS/52/2018, which ordered the commission to include the APC on the ballot paper for all elections in the state which made it possible for the party to participate in Feb. 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The commission noted that it also included the party on ballot papers for the governorship and state legislative elections but lamented that the party was not on the Result Sheets.

However, the commission has just discovered that because of the suddenness of the court order, the party (APC) was omitted for the Governorship Result Sheets.

“This omission is deeply regretted. “As a solution, the commission has decided to manually create columns in each of the Result Sheets after the last printed party, ZLP, and insert the APC. “This does not affect any other information on the Results Sheet,” it explained.

Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr Asmau Maikudi, has assured that the commission had completed all arrangements for an early start of the governorship and state assembly polls in the state.

Maikudi, who commended the cooperation of the stakeholders in the state, especially security agencies, politicians and the media, re-assured that the umpire would conduct a free, fair, credible and acceptable election in the state.

She said all elections materials which were distributed to all the 14 local government areas of the state under the supervision of party agents and other stakeholders had reached their destinations without any hitch.

“This will guarantee the good start of the elections process on record time,” she said.

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