Rerun Polls: INEC Yet To Begin Preparations

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike (right), addressing thousands of Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic in Bori on Wednesday

Barely three weeks to the
conclusion of the legislative re run elections in Rivers State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State is yet to begin preparations for the suspended polls.
Sources hinted The Tide on Wednesday at the state, headquarters of the commission that they were awaiting  further directives from INEC’s  national headquarters to commence preparations for the polls.
The INEC National Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu late last month after consultations announced July 30 for the conclusion of the suspended polls in Rivers and other states.
The Rivers State Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak had also met with security agencies, party leadership and stakeholders on the need to educate and enlighten their supporters on the importance of violence- free elections before the July 30 date was announced.
The Tide gathered that the commission has concluded some of its preparations for the polls, but has to wait till next week for the recruitment of Ad hoc workers for the polls.
Efforts to contact the REC, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak was not fruitful as he was away and could not answer his calls.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the commission in Port Harcourt, Anthonia Amaimo said the commission was waiting for further directives from the headquarters to commence work.
Amaimo noted that all directives had to come from the headquarters even though the date   for the elections has  been announced.
The legislative rerun election would be conducted in the three senatorial districts in Rivers State but politicians and political parties complained that they were yet to know the details and polling units where the elections would be held.
Meanwhile, as the people of  Kogi East senatorial district prepare for the senatorial re-run election next week Saturday, no fewer than 1,390 ad hoc staff will be involved in the election to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Samuel Usman, disclosed this last Wednesday, while briefing journalists on the commission’s preparations for re-run elections.
He noted that after due consultations with relevant stakeholders both at the state and national levels on the conditions precedent for the peaceful re-run election in the zone, and based on the outcome of these meetings/consultations, had scheduled July 23, 2016 for the conduct of the elections.
According to him, the local government areas involved in the senatorial re-run election are Ankpa,
Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji and Idah Others are Igalamela/Odolu, Ofu and Olamaboro.
He stressed that the state constituency re-run elections will be conducted in one polling unit out of 89 (PU 003) in Idah while in Ofu, election would be conducted in 79 polling units out of 129.
The REC assured the electorate that the lessons learnt from the previous exercises would be used in raising the bar during these elections, saying he would also continue to encourage participation in the electoral process as the present commission was poised to meet the global best practices.
He therefore warned that no permanent voters cards (PVCs), no voting, saying anybody who has no business with the process should steer clear from the polling and collation centres.
“Security agencies have collectively vowed to secure the election and would deal decisively with hoodlums who would disrupt the process,” he warned.
He therefore called for co-operation and appealed to members of the public should be highly informed to conduct themselves before, during and after the exercise and take precautions in order to avoid repetitions of violence and disruption of the electoral process.