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Ahead of Council Polls: Rivers PDP Panics

PDP LOGO…Threatens Court Action …CTC Is Illegal

An impeccable source has revealed to this publication that the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) is making moves to conduct local government council polls in June this year.

Though no date is fixed for the council election, but sources from the Commission informed this weekly that all things being equal, the LG election will come up June 28, 2014 being the last Saturday of the month.

The RSIEC will soon recruit electoral officers that will be involved in the conduct of the local polls. The tenure of the present elected local government administrators will  expire May this year. Based on this the RSIEC said through its Director of Media and Publicity, Sam Woka, that it would organize the local council polls.

RSIEC is a state government parastatal. And all the commissioners managing the affairs of the State Independent Electoral Commission are appointed by Gov. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. No doubt he that pays the piper detects the tune. The commission must succumb to the detect of the state governor to declare the result after the conduct of the council polls.

The state governor is now a member of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), therefore, according to political analysts, if RSIEC is allowed to conduct the council polls as planned in the month of June, APC candidates, might sweep the poll across the twenty-three (23) local government areas. Currently, all the serving local government chairmen, except Prince Timothy Nsirim of Obio/Akpor are members of the APC. The state is under the control of APC.

The leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is now in the state of panic, because of the political implications of the council polls that will be conducted by RSIEC on the 2015 general election.

The political damage will be enormous as Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan may not get the expected vote cast in the state.

Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike at several fora told the Rivers people to resist any attempt by the governor to conduct a council election.

At Omuma and Ogu/Bolo Local Government Areas while addressing a cross section of members of the  Grassroot Development Initiative, GDI, the supervising Minister for Education told the members that the governor is making frantic moves to rig the council election. The minister called on the members of PDP to vehemently oppose the conduct of the council polls.

Our political correspondent gathered that the leadership of the PDP will seek legal advice and institute a legal action against the governor and the RSIEC to restrain them from conducting the planned council polls in June, 2014.

Meanwhile some legal practitioners who spoke to this weekly have clearly pointed out that appointing Caretaker Committees to oversee the affairs of the Rivers Councils after the expiration of the elected LGA administrators is illegal and unconstitutional.

Barr. Iyo Thomas in his opinion told our political correspondent that the constitution does not make any provision, for the appointment of Caretaker Committees. He said that any attempt to appoint CTC to administer the councils when the tenure of the present elected council officers elapses is a breach of the constitution.

Another lawyer who simply identified himself as Ibiso George, Esq maintained that the Governor has the constitutional  backing to conduct the council polls as soon as their tenure ends.

“The elected chairmen and councilors have only three (3) year mandate. By the end of the three (3) years they will leave office and election will be conducted to usher in new officers, “George said.

He called on the state governor not to appoint CTC to run the affairs of the council administration but to conduct fresh election so as to bring in new chairmen and councilors to manage the affairs of the Rivers LGAs.###

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