Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner , Obo Effanga, has said he has no regret over the decision taken by him and the Independent National Electoral Commission to suspend elections in the state.
Effanga explained that the decision was in the interest of the state , adding that there was no merit in the allegation of bias against him .
Recall that INEC suspended the governorship and legislative elections in the state at the collation stage of the process .
Effanga was reacting to allegations by some politicians and civil society organisations that he was partisan and should not have suspended the process .
Speaking in a telephone interview with our correspondent , the state REC argued that though people were free to make insinuations , he was not bothered because such insinuations were unfounded .
He maintained that the electoral process was suspended in the state because of widespread violence.
Effanga said , “While INEC has taken a decision on what to be done in continuing and concluding the electoral process , I have no regret about the actions taken by me and by INEC .
“ Those decisions were taken in the best interest of the state , considering the circumstances in which we found ourselves .
“ People are free to make insinuations and I couldn ’ t be bothered about that because these insinuations are unfounded .
Are they (those calling for his removal ) aware of the outcome of the fact -finding team ’ s probe into what happened and the decision taken by INEC in going forward ?
“ I don’ t see any merit in their allegations.
We were in a middle of the process ; the election does not end in voting ; the election ends where the votes are counted , collated and then the results announced .
“ We were still within the process when there was widespread violence.
This affected the continuation of the exercise and that was why INEC suspended it and sent a fact – finding team to find out what has happened , the stage we were with the process and took a decision on what to do going forward . ”
The state REC said the decision of INEC ’ s fact – finding team was able to douse tension .
He added , “I think that the decision of the fact – finding team helped a lot in reducing the tension and also holding back the violence that was happening in the state .
“ Anybody who is honest with himself and not playing to the gallery or refused to be influenced by partisan political interest will agree that the decision taken by INEC at that time was the best and was in the overall interest of the state . ”