By Our Reporter
Not less than 900 candidates from 12 political parties have been cleared to contest the Saturday, December 2, 2017, local government elections in Akwa Ibom State.
Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), Mr. Aniedie Ikoiwak disclosed this at a press briefing with newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday.
He said, “Let me say here unequivocally that, come Saturday December 2, 2017 AKISIEC is ready to conduct the local government elections that will be generally accepted by the good people of Akwa Ibom State.
The AKISIEC boss said, non-sensitive materials for election had been sent to the State electoral agency AKISIEC’s Area offices in the 31 LGAs, while the sensitive ones shall be deployed 24 hours to the elections.
According to him, “We have trained our ad-hoc staff and retrained our electoral officers and other support staff while voting will being by 8 am and closes by 2 pm’’ adding that, the Commission will rely on the 2015 voters register produced by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the local government elections.
He explained that those who just registered with INEC in the on-going continuous voter registration exercise will not vote as their names will not be displayed in the 2015 voters register.
Mr Ikoiwak assured those without Permanent Voter Card (PVC) but whose names are in the register shall be allowed to vote, and ruled out the possibility of using the card reader machine for the election.saying that, for now the only instrument authorized by law for the conduct of elections in the country is the voters register until the electoral law is amended.
On the observers mission, he maintained that, only 20 election monitors especially, members of the civil society have been accredited to observe the conduct of the election, and urged every eligible voter to go to their voting unit to carry out their civic duty without any fear saying that security operatives will be on ground to protect persons and materials.
“I express the Commission’s deep appreciation to all the political parties, security agencies, the press, other stakeholders, the good people of Akwa Ibom State for joining hands with us to make the work smooth”, he added.