The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC), has fixed June 16, 2018, for the conduct of the local government elections in the state.
This was disclosure yesterday in Port Harcourt, during a stakeholders’ meeting attended by leaders of the political parties in the state.
In his pre-election speech, the Chairman of RSIEC,Hon Justices C. I Uriri, noted that it is his responsibility and that of his commission to organize, undertake and supervise every election into local government councils.
Uriri expressed worries that for some time now there have not been local government elections in the state, adding that the law abhors a vacuum.
While stressing the need for the council elections, he said that the poll would hold in June having also adhered to the 90 days mandatory notice provided by law.
Uriri said: “It is therefore imperative that we fix a date for local government elections in accordance with the said rules.
“By the power conferred on me as enshrined in the Rivers State Independent Electoral Law No. 2 of 2018, I therefore declare Saturday, the 16th day of June 2018 as Local Government Election Day in Rivers State. It is accordingly so fixed.
He, however, appealed to all political parties and politicians in the state to abide by the rules of the game and avoid violence in all ramifications.
“I reaffirm the commitment of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission to perform its obligations, to reflect the aspirations of the electorate”, he said.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress,(APC), at the meeting described the decision of RSIEC as sacrilegious, adding that it would not stand legal scrutiny.
The Chairman of APC in the state, Chief Davies Ikanya, said “We are just experiencing the worst of electoral bodies. I knew the Governor of the state will do this, that is why I insisted on attending this meeting.”.
But in his reaction, the Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bro Felix Obuah, commended RSIEC for putting a date for the council poll, adding that all the political parties in the state are okay with the development.
Obuah said: “We have been yearning for elected council executives, we have been using caretaker Committee. The body is well constituted. The issue of illegality does not come in. The matter in court does not stop the electoral body from making preparations.”