THE Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday said it would conclude the March 19, 2016, rerun elections in Rivers State in October.
The election umpire also said it was disturbed with the fact that the people of the state had no representation at the national assembly till date.
The commission stated this in Port Harcourt during a meeting with stakeholders and the 28 political parties in the state.
Speaking, the INEC National Commissioner in Charge of Operations, Mrs. Amina Zakari, stated that the commission would not extend the completion of the rerun election further than October.
Although, no actual date for the election was given, Zakari insisted that the commission was targeting to conclude election in the areas it was suspended within the last two weeks in October.
Zakari said if the security challenges in the state were fixed on time, the commission would complete the election quickly.
She pleaded with politicians in the state to cooperate with the electoral body in order to achieve the completion of the rerun election.
Zakari said, “We are working tirelessly to ensure that this election that was suspended in some local governments is concluded. We are looking at completing the elections within October. The first week of October is out of it because that week we would celebrate our independence.
“The meeting was convened in order to evolve a way to complete the election. Because the election was more of a war, we also need to cool ourselves as well as plan new strategies.
“We don’t have a stake in the election; we are only to support democracy to survive in our country. We are giving that period to ensure that we are prepared.”
Zakari said the cancellation of the last proposed date for the rerun was propelled by the burning of the INEC office in the Khana Local Government Area of the state.
The INEC boss bemoaned the issue of insecurity in the state, adding that the election would only be completed when there was peace in the state.
She said the issue of insecurity was the reason the commission had not returned to conclude the election.
Zakari also said election had been concluded in Tai LGA, stressing that a fresh election would not be conducted in the area.
“We call on politicians to ensure a proper atmosphere for the election to be concluded. Election was suspended at the collation level in some areas just as it was suspended at the post-collation stage in some others.
She also said that election was suspended at the unit level in some areas as a result of the non-availability of election materials.
Culled from: http://punchng.com/violence-threatening-rivers-rerun-says-inec/