A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Port Harcourt - Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday dismissed the local government elections held on May 23 in the state by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC).
State Chairman of the party, Felix Obuah, in a statement in Port Harcourt, said: “Following claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State that council elections were held in the state on May 23, 2015, we call on Rivers people to disregard the report as there were no such elections in the state but a charade and futile exercise.
We consider claims by the APC and the outgoing Governor Rotimi Amaechi- controlled RSIEC of conducting the so-called council elections in Rivers State on Saturday as a farce, fraudulent, illegal and in fragrant disobedience to an order by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that status quo be maintained on the matter.”
Obuah added that the duration announced for the so-called elections contravened relevant sections of the Electoral Act and laws establishing RSIEC, which stipulate duration for preparation, conduct of primaries and submission of names of candidates, screening and campaigns by the various political parties participating in the elections.
He noted that before an election will hold, an Election Tribunal must be inaugurated.
He added that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had openly denied releasing certified Voters Register to RSIEC, in compliance with a court order.
“The law states that upon request, INEC will release to RSIEC Certified Voters Register to conduct local government elections.
“If any council election was held, what then was used, since INEC did not release the voters register for the election?
Against this background, we declare the council polls purportedly held on May 23, as a deliberate contravention of the law, as INEC did not release the duly certified voters register to RSIEC, the body that allegedly conducted the elections on Saturday.”
He reiterated that in the eyes of the law, the PDP and Rivers people, there was no council elections in Rivers State on May 23, 2015.
“We, therefore, urge members of the PDP, Rivers people and Nigerians at large, to ignore any announcement of results of the purported council elections and the alleged issuance of certificates of return to any person,” Obuah said.