Election fraud: How soldiers nabbed Wike’s agents FeaturedWritten by EMMA OWHONDAH
Hawk-eye soldiers on election duty in Etche local government area in Rivers State have received kudos over the arrest of Mr. Samuel Nwanosike and about 50 youths who infiltrated the area to cause mayhem during the supplementary legislative election on Saturday. Nwanosike, popularly addressed as Ishi, is the leader of Grassroot(sic) Democratic Initiative, GDI, a militia group formed by Rivers State Governor, Ezebuwon Nyesom Wike, to prosecute his governorship ambition in 2015.
The Neighbourhood gathered that the arrest of Nwanosike, Rowland Sekibo and Odiari Princewill, said to be the most dreaded three-some in GDI, came off a tip-off. According to a well-informed source, Nwanosike and the others had sneaked into Etche using the cover of night on Friday. The band reportedly held meetings with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidates and chieftains in Omuma where elections were also to hold though in fewer units. A member of the Rivers State House of Assembly from the area allegedly hoisted the meeting that included a leader of PDP from Etche whose son is a Special Assistant in a federal agency.
With their plots concluded on how to rig the Saturday election, Nwanosike and others reportedly agreed that key Wards should be targeted which included Ulakwo Ward 13, the Ward of Mr. Emma Anyanwu. Part of the plan, The Neighbourhood source further disclosed, was to demobilise Mr. Charles Anyanwu, reputed to have fierce loyalty among youths in Etche. Soon as election materials were distributed early in the morning, the PDP squad swooped on officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and carted away all the materials meant for voting in the entire Ulakwo Ward 13. What saved the day was the quick intervention of soldiers who intercepted the hoodlums and recovered the materials.
It was learnt the manhunt for Nwanosike and others commenced as soon as the information of their illegal presence in Etche was leaked to soldiers. Nwanosike hails from Ikwerre local government and is the State Publicity Secretary of PDP whereas Roland Sekibo is a former Chairman, Akuku-Toru CTC as Odiari Princewill held similar office in Asari-Toru.
Bearing an unverified court order, Mr. Nwanosike was stopped at Ulakwo by the soldiers who sought to know his mission. The Wike Man Friday reportedly engaged the soldiers in a shouting order claiming Gov. Wike had commissioned him to traverse Etche despite his not being a voter or INEC official.
The arrested suspected election hoodlums were reportedly marched into a military vehicle which left to an undisclosed place. It was however gathered that Gov. Wike had launched moves to have them released immediately.