Okon Bassey in Uyo
Twelve political parties have been cleared to field candidates to contest this Saturday, December 2, 2017 local government elections in Akwa Ibom State.
Briefing journalists wednesday in Uyo, the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), Elder Aniedie Ikoiwak, also disclosed that 900 candidates across the political parties have been cleared to participate in the election.
â€œLet me say here unequivocally that AKISIEC is ready to conduct the local government elections that will be generally accepted by the good people of Akwa Ibom State.
The Commission, he said had deployed to AKISIEC Area offices in the 31 LGAs the non-sensitive materials while the sensitive ones shall be deployed 24 hours to the elections.
â€œWe have trained our ad-hoc staff and retrained our electoral officers and other support staffâ€ adding that voting will begin by 8 am and closes by 2 pm.
According to AKISIEC boss, 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 his/her name will not be in the 2015 voters register.
â€œHowever, the people who have lost their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and their names are in the register will be allowed to vote.
The AKISIEC Chairman ruled out the possibility of using the card reader machine for the election saying for now the only instrument authorised by law for the conduct of elections in the country is the voters register until the law is amended.
Ikoiwak stressed that 20 observer groups especially members of the civil society have been accredited to observe the conduct of the election.
He urged every eligible voter to go to voting units to exercise their civic duty without any fear saying that security operatives will be on ground to protect persons and materials.
â€œI express the commissionâ€™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 smoothâ€, he added