From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has again rescheduled the Rivers State rerun elections to October without a definite date.
INEC’s National Commissioner, Operations, Hajia Amina Zakari, disclosed this yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting in Port Harcourt. Zakari said it would not be possible to conduct the legislative rerun elections in September due to the Edo State governorship election that would come up soon.
She further stated that INEC needed time to budget, plan, train and post the personnel for the elections and regretted the circumstances that led to its suspension, adding that the commission wants to avoid a repeat of past mistakes.
“The primary responsibility of INEC is to ensure sustenance of democracy, through peaceful elections, and we need your cooperation and support to achieve this noble objective.”
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak, expressed optimism that, at the end of the meeting, all sensitive issues relating to the elections would have been resolved.
Chairman for Inter-agencies for Peaceful Elections and the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Francis Odesanya, said: “The police will not be partisan. We will provide every candidate a level playing field. We also assure you safety and peaceful election.”
Leading the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Rivers East Senatorial District, Senator George Sekibo, urged the commission not to give preference to any particular party.