Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has indicated that the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] is deliberately neglecting conduct of Rivers State re-run elections.
Photo: Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu
Ekweremadu described INEC’s stance as a deliberate failure, refusal and or neglect “to conduct re-run elections in Rivers State into the Senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly”.
Ekweremadu made the allegations in a “Debate Motion Over Non-Conduct Of Elections In Rivers State” which he presented before the Senate on Wednesday.
The motion reads in part:
The Senate –
OBSERVES that in spite of her resolution S/Res/O16/02/16 of 27th day of September 2016 calling on INEC to immediately conclude all pending re-run elections in the country, INEC has failed, refused and or neglected to conduct re-run elections in Rivers State into the Senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly.
ALSO OBSERVES further that the failure of INEC to conduct the re-run elections in Rivers State within the time frame ordered by the respective Election Petition Tribunals/Courts is in breach of the Electoral Act and Section 76 of the 1999 Constitution, thus endangering the nation’s democracy.
FURTHER OBSERVES that non representation of the entire people of Rivers State in the Senate and some constituencies of Rivers State in the House of Representatives and State House of Assembly is in breach of Section 14 (2) (c) of the 1999 Constitution, and endangers peace and order in the State.
FURTHER OBSERVES that failure of INEC to conduct election in Rivers State has continued to deny the people of Rivers State their constitutionally guaranteed rights to be represented in the legislative houses where laws affecting them are being made, and has engendered palpable anxiety amongst people of the State.
AWARE that INEC had successfully conducted elections in the North East of Nigeria, especially in the areas around Sambisa Forest in spite of the area having been acknowledged worldwide to be ravaged by terrorist activities.
ALSO AWARE that INEC recently conducted successful elections in Edo State even after security advice from Police and D88 forced a rescheduling of the election date.
FURTHER AWARE that elections were held in Bayelsa State in spite of government acknowledged threat of militant activities that necessitated provision of additional security personnel in the State for the elections.
Ekweremadu, therefore, called on INEC to conduct all outstanding elections in Rivers State before the end of November 2016.
According to him, the Senate will suspend plenary till such a time the said elections are held and the people of Rivers State are represented in the respective Legislative houses.
Subsequent upon Ekweremadu’s threat, INEC said it is set to conclude outstanding legislative elections in Rivers State by December 10, 2016.
This was revealed by Chairman, senate committee on INEC, Abubakar Kyari.
Kyari informed the Senate that the Committee has met with INEC leadership and they promised to hold the election on December 10.
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