The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has yielded to pressures mounted by the Senate to fix date for the outstanding re-run elections for National Assembly seats in Rivers State.
The continued delay in conducting the re-run elections have attracted concern from political stakeholders, especially the Senate and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is presently governing the state.
As a measure of its concern, the Senate had on Tuesday threatened to suspend plenary if the INEC failed to conduct the remaining elections in various parts of the country, especially in Rivers and Anambra States.
In a statement signed by Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu, INEC said it had consulted widely before reaching its decision on the matter. The commission said that it has approved the conduct of the outstanding National Assembly re-run elections in Rivers State to hold on December 10,
“After months of intensive planning and wide consultations, INEC today approved the conduct the following elections: Lagos House Representatives election to hold on Saturday, December 3, 2016, councilors hip election in the FCT to hold on Saturday, December 3, National Assembly elections (Senate and House of Representatives) fixed for December 10.”
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has declared that with the type of fraud that the present INEC is involved in, Nigerians should brace up for the theft of mandates in 2019.
Addressing the National Executive Council of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday, Governor Wike said that INEC has been manipulating the electoral process in Rivers State because it was directed to favour the politician who diverted Rivers State funds and used same to sponsor a particular political party.
He said: “If INEC goes on with this type of electoral fraud, then Nigeria is in trouble in 2019. What type of country are we living in when there is open electoral stealing?
“They want to allocate seats to a man who took our money to sponsor their party. They said they don’t want to embarrass him for giving them our money.”
The governor berated INEC for attempting to smuggle in a concocted result of Tai Local Government Area, which was one of the eight local government areas where elections were suspended by INEC on March 19, 2016.
He said: “It is shocking and embarrassing that several months after INEC suspended elections in eight local government areas, it has come up to concoct fake results for Tai Local Government Area. “
Wike, commended the Senate for rising to the occasion in defence of democracy as it concerns the rerun elections in the state.The governor declared that it was important that Rivers State gets her full representation at the Senate, the House of Representatives and the state House of Assembly.
This post was first published on the This Day.
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