Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) has insisted on conducting the October 31 Local Government Election in the State, despite the violence following in the wake of the nationwide #EndSARS protests.
There has been speculation that the election has been postponed especially with the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the State cancelling its campaign tours which had earlier been launched in the penultimate week.
But the Chairman of the Commission, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, told our correspondent by phone on Monday that the election would still go ahead not minding the recent protests 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.
The AKISIEC boss had told the press after the meeting that everything was ready for the election.
He also dismissed claims 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 Local Government Areas 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 elections, saying 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 and use hand sanitizers.
According to him, only voters’ register and Permanent Voters Card would be 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.