From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) has debunked the allegation that it excluded some political parties from participating in the April, 2021, local government councils election.
Chairman of RSIEC, Justice George Omereji (retd), announced this when he spoke in a live radio programme in Port Harcourt, at the weekend.
Justice Omereji explained that RSIEC wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to furnish it with the list of approved and registered political parties in the country.
He said: “We wrote to INEC. INEC is the body responsible for registration of political parties. INEC supplied us list of political parties that are compliance in Nigeria.
“The 74 political parties were not included in the list of registered political parties. For us to now start to introduce them into our register, we would be disobeying INEC, who is the body responsible for registering political parties”.
Justice Omereji also declared RSIEC’s preparedness to conduct a free, fair and credible council poll in April this year.
He said: “We are prepared very, very well for this election. This is the first time, according to the history of RSIEC, funding was fully made without even going to beg or worry the government.
“I want to appreciate His Excellency for being there for us. And we are going to assure him this election will be free, fair and credible”.
On his part, the Commissioner in-charge of Public Enlightenment and Civil Education, RSIEC, Barango Tariah, disclosed that the recruitment of ad hoc staff would commence on March 1, 2021.