Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze has kicked against the enlistment of hotels owned by top chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State as Registration Area Centers (RAC) in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the stockpiling of sensitive materials and collation of unit results in the 2023 general elections.
In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, the party Chief said a peep into the list of Registration Area Collation Centers (RACC) and Registration Area Centres (RAC) for Port Harcourt City LGA released by INEC reveals that Landmark Hotels owned by Sen. Olaka Nwogu, a former Federal Lawmaker and ally of Wike and Visa Karena Hotel, owned by Chief Sergeant Chidi Awuse, another PDP stalwart and Wike’s henchman, featured as RAC for Orominieke and Oroworukwo communities.
Others are White Palace Hotel, Bebec Hotel, Hotel Dance, Comfort Hotel, White House Hotel, Maas Central Hotel, Danny T. Hotel Orange Sea Hotel, Stanza Guest House, Thailand Place, Mainland Hotel, Ilo Garden Hotel, Mina Hotel, Otunkwe Guest House and Rachael Hotel.
The ownership or management of the aforementioned hotels are directly or indirectly linked to the PDP and Gov. Wike, therefore shortlisting them as RAC for the purpose of the 2023 elections will undermine the status of INEC and as an unbiased umpire and jeopardize the commission’s reputation built over the years.
Eze called on the commission to rescind and withdraw its approval of the properties owned by members of the PDP for use as Registration Area Centers (RAC) and revert to the use of public schools or community halls as is the case in other local government areas.
“Same purpose for which the above-listed private properties were approved can be taken care of by government schools and town halls in the area such as Oroworukwo Town Hall, RumuWoji Town Hall, State School, Elekahia, State School, Orominieke, Ogbumnuabali Town Hall etc”.
Expressing confidence that INEC and its officials will remain neutral in the discharge of the commission responsibilities, Eze reminded officers of the commission that INEC is at the glare of the world and should be courageous to do the right thing at all times and provide a level playing ground, secure the commission’s image and protect Nigeria’s nascent democracy.