INEC Suspends Elections In Etche


The Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the legislative rerun elections in Etche Local Government Area indefinitely.
The Etche Local Government Area is the only area the last re run legislative results is being withheld.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Elder Aniedi Ikoiwak who announced this last Wednesday in Port Harcourt, said the  December 10 elections were marred by violence,
He noted that elections did not take place in about 30 per cent of the local government area due to the activities of hoodlums who disrupted the exercise.
According to him,’’ election did not take place up to 30 per cent in the area, even where deployment was made on Friday 9th,December, hoodlums still went to those places and stop officials from conducting the elections’’.
‘’We still have full elections for House of Assembly and House of Representatives. Omuma Local Government Area  has concluded their elections, what is left is Etche Local Government Area before we make pronouncement. Since they do not allow for the election to be concluded in Etche,they have to wait’’, he said.
The REC also said the commission will not go back to the polls in Etche soon because the materials have already gone into the field .
According to him, ‘’ some of the materials were snatched, some destroyed, so we need to come back and plan another one, look for funds to print new materials before going back to Etche’’.
‘’It is wrong to say or believed that we will go back and conduct elections in Etche tomorrow, because we have to plan and prepare for it. We need to print new and fresh materials’’, he said.
It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last Friday said it would conclude the two outstanding state assembly rerun elections in Rivers state in 2017.
The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this at the opening of a two-day workshop organised by the commission for journalists in Abuja, said there were 70 incidences of deliberate obstruction of the election process in Rivers state.
He said that the commission has documented all the cases and is reviewing them for possible prosecution in line with its guidelines.
INEC had last weekend moved to conclude all the 22 rerun elections in the state, but was forced to cancel the exercise in two constituencies in Etche.
Meanwhile, Etche people have called on the INEC to release the Etche Local Government Area re run elections result of the area, adding that it is only few communities that elections could not hold.
Amadi Emmanuel who spoke to The Tide said elections in Etche was concluded but few communities like,Umuhiagwu,Okomoko and Ekehiagwu are communities that elections could not hold due to violence.