From: Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) has insisted on conducting the October 31 local government election in the state despite the seeming hostile environment occasioned by #EndSARS violent protest.
There have been speculations that the election has been postponed especially when the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, cancelled its campaign tours which had earlier been launched penultimate week.
But the chairman of the commission, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, told our correspondent on phone on Monday that the election would still go ahead not minding the recent protest which claimed some lives and witnessed arson and looting in Uyo, the state capital.
In the brief telephone chat, the AKISIEC boss said the election would still go ahead. “If there was any change in plan, we would have issued a statement. So since there is none, then there is no new information other than that the election would still hold.” He said.
Just before the Thursday mayhem in Uyo, Ikoiwak had led Service Commanders who are members of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security to a meeting with the state commissioner of police, Mr Andrew Amiengheme, who is the chairman of the forum.
The Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) is made up of heads of all security agencies in the state.
AKISIEC boss had told the press after the meeting that everything was ready for the election.
He also debunked the claimed that only the PDP was participating in the election, stressing that eight political parties would rather participate in the election to be conducted in all the 31 LGAs in the state.
”Records in my office indicate that eight political parties would participate in this coming local government poll. The eight political parties are captured on the ballot papers ” he said
Ikoiwak did not however disclose the identities of the eight political parties participating in the election but said that 10,000 ad hoc staff have been trained and deployed to work during the elections where voters would have to wear their face masks even Hans sanitizers would be dispensed free.
According to him, only voters register and permanent voters card would used for accreditation as there would be no card reader s.
The Chairman of Inter Agencies Consultative Committee on Election Security ( ICCES) and Commissioner of Police in the State Andrew Amiengheme said all security agencies would be fully mobilized for the election.
Amiengheme said there will be restrictions of movement within the voting period and warned criminals to stay off the voting arena as law enforcement agencies would not tolerate any form of electoral malpractices.
” Security Agencies will top-notch security before, during and after the election” he said.