Monday, 25 July 2016

INEC unsure of Rivers rerun election after fire incident



inec-chair


Indications have emerged that the legislative rerun election in Rivers may not hold as scheduled due to the fire that gutted the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Khana LGA of the state.

The All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party have expressed their readiness for the rerun election but INEC said it was not sure if the exercise would hold on Saturday, July 30, as planned.

There appears to be no major work towards the conduct of the rerun election at the INEC office on Monday, especially with regard to the arrival of some non-sensitive materials.




The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak, told our correspondent in a telephone interview that the commission at the state level could not take the decision on the rerun election in Rivers State on its own.

Making a reference to the commission’s office in Khana Local Government that was gutted by fire last week, Ikoiwak explained that the decision on whether the election would hold or not would be taken in collaboration with INEC headquarters in Abuja and other stakeholders.

“We are watching the environment and we will soon come out with a statement. Decisions are not taken only at this level; decisions are taken in collaboration with the headquarters and other stakeholders,” the state REC stressed.

Ikoiwak said Friday’s fire incident at INEC office in Khana LGA was the second in two years within the same area.

He maintained that the commission lost some necessary materials allotted to Khana for the elections, adding that INEC would need to get some election materials for the affected area.

Ikoiwak said, “We are sad because we can’t be putting up property and people keep on burning the property. This is not the first time INEC office is being set ablaze in Khana Local Government Area.

“The first INEC office was set ablaze in 2014. It is the second time it is happening within two years in the same local government area. When it happens, we will only thank God that no life was lost, but we have lost some necessary materials allotted to that local government.

“We need to readjust and see how we can get some of those materials to be able to meet up with other areas and also see how our staff can go to work by arranging a temporary place where they can stay and do their job according to the law.”

On the security of the commission’s workers, the state REC pointed out that security agencies had assured them that there would be no cause for alarm.

“The security agencies have responded to the situation and they are given us assurances and they have also sympathised with us,” he added.

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