Rivers rerun: Stop giving excuses, give definite date, INEC told

THE deputy governor of Rivers State, Dr (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come out with a clear-cut date and modalities for the legislative rerun elections in the state.

She gave the advice in a statement issued by her press secretary, Mr Paul Damgbor and made available to Saturday Tribune in Port Harcourt, on Friday.

The National Commissioner (Operations) of the commission, Mrs Amina Zakari, had, during a stakeholders’ meeting held in Port Harcourt, last week, disclosed that the election would be held before the end of October.

The deputy governor, however, said INEC should give a concrete date and also stressed the need to commence arrangement by displaying names of ad hoc staff, a month ahead of the supplementary election as a mark of transparency to avoid a repeat of the shortcomings in the suspended March 19 exercise.

She said the admonition became necessary to demonstrate the genuineness of the electoral body to conduct a free and fair election, adding that it must resist the temptation of playing according to the dictates of the ruling party at the centre.

Banigo further alleged that INEC, under its current leadership, had resorted to excuses and blame game over the  inability to conduct and conclude several inconclusive rerun elections, particularly in the PDP-controlled states.

She wondered whether the actions and inactions of INEC were not a deliberate ploy to continually deny the people of Rivers the right of representation, both in the national and state legislature.