THE Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) has ruled out the postponement of the local government election slated for Feb. 29, in the state.
This is even as some opposition political parties have expressed concern over the readiness of the electoral umpire to conduct a credible poll.
The Administrative Secretary of the commission, Mr Tagbo Nnamah told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Enugu that shifting the election date was not an option.
Nnamah, who was responding to concerns by the stakeholders, said that the duty of ENSIEC was to ensure convenient arrangements for all political parties.
The administrative secretary said that everything that needed to be done to ensure a credible poll had been put in place by the commission.
He, however, said that if adjusting some of the items on the time table would serve justice to the political parties, ENSIEC would not hesitate to do that.
“I do not think that anybody that is willing to participate in the election will have any problem. Adjusting the date within which candidates are to submit their nomination forms will not be a problem.
“However, shifting the election date will not be possible,” Nnamah said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, Mr Ben Nwoye, said there was nothing to show that the commission was ready for the polls.
Nwoye said that barely one month to the election, ENSIEC had exhibited nothing but inefficiency as everything was shrouded in secrecy.
“The build up to the election is a mockery of the democratic process. They have not made any move to invite political parties for stakeholders meeting,” he said.
The APC chairman said that the commission released nomination forms for candidates of their party less than 30 hours to the deadline for the submission of the forms.
Nwoye, therefore, called for the extension of time within which to submit the nomination forms to ENSIEC as well as the postponement of the election.
However, the Chairman of African Peoples Alliance (APA), Mr Chukwunonso Ogbe, said that calling for the postponement of the election would amount to playing into the hands of ENSIEC and the state government.
Ogbe said that though from the facts on ground, the commission seemed not to be ready for the election, “our party will not be calling for postponement; else, you play into their hands.
“We are against the appointment of caretaker chairmen in the councils as is the case now. So, it will be an aberration for us to call for postponement of the election,” he said.
Ogbe said that ENSIEC should be held responsible in the event of its failure to conduct a credible election as slated.
“The commission only deemed it wise to initiate this process following the protest that greeted the unwillingness of the state government and ENSIEC to conduct the election within the time envisaged by law,” Ogbe said.
NAN reports that according to the time table released by the commission, campaigns are to start on Feb. 5. (NAN)
– Jan. 28, 2020 @ 12:55 GMT |