The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, on Wednesday said that about 12 political parties would participate in Saturday’s local government election.
Ikoiwak stated this while briefing newsmen on the commission’s preparedness for the Dec. 2 council poll.
He said that the 12 political parties registered about 900 candidates to contest the chairmanship and councillorship positions across the 31 Local Government Areas of the state.
The chairman assured Akwa Ibom residents of the commission’s readiness to conduct free and fair election.
“Let me say here unequivocally that come Saturday Dec. 2, AKISIEC is ready to conduct the local government election that will be generally accepted by the good people of Akwa Ibom.
“This level of preparedness and assurances are the words I have come to brief you today,” Ikoiwak said.
The AKISIEC chairman added that about 20 observer groups had been accredited for the election.
According to him, accreditation and voting would begin simultaneously from 8am and closes by 2pm.
He, however, said that all voters on queue before 2pm would be given the opportunity to cast their votes irrespective of the 2pm closing time.
“Let me remind all the eligible voters that voting begins by 8am and closes by 2pm. That means that every voter is expected to be at his/her voting unit with his/her PVC on or before 2pm.
He reiterated AKISIEC’s determination to conduct a Local Government Election that will be generally accepted by people of State, saying all Ad-hoc staff recruited by the Commission have been trained, coupled with a retraining of the body’s Electoral Officers and other support staff.
I am proud to announce to you that we have taken possession of all sensitive and
non-sensitive materials. Non-sensitive ones had been deployed to AKISIEC Area Offices in the 31 Local Government areas, while the sentive ones shall be deployed 24 hours to the elections.
“The commission will use the 2015 voters’ register produced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the election.
“Those who registered during the ongoing continuous voter registration will not be allowed to vote as their names have not been captured in the 2015 register,’’ he said.
He stated that Card Readers would be used for accreditation during the election, stressing that accreditation would be done manually.
He advised all eligible voters to carry carry out their civic duties without fear of intimidation, as necessary security measures have been put in place to ensure their safety.
The AKISIEC chairman warned media organisations in the state not to declare election result as only the commission has the mandate to do so.