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Rivers council chiefs get certificates of return, PDP kicks

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Professor Augustine AhiazuTHE Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) has issued Certificates of Return to the twenty-two local council chairmen elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during the last elections.

But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the polls as a deliberate contravention of the law, saying, “INEC did not release the duly certified voters register to RSIEC, the body that allegedly conducted the “illegal election on Saturday.”

RSIEC chairman, Professor Augustine Ahiazu, while presenting the certificates to the council henchmen, urged them to work in the best interest of their people in the rural areas who elected them.

He implored the chairmen to see their electoral victories as a divine responsibility bestowed on them by God. Ahiazu had on Sunday night at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt announced the APC chairmanship candidates as winner of the 22 councils where elections held last Saturday.

He announced that APC won 297 of the 302 wards. The remaining ones were won by ADC in Etche ward 3, PPA in Ahoada West ward 2, and SDP got Ahoada East ward 4. In Ahoada East ward 8, the election was inconclusive.

Meanwhile, the State PDP chairman, Felix Obuah, has urged citizens to disregard the result of the polls, which he likened to charade and futile exercise. According to him, the action of RSIEC was “fraudulent, illegal and in fragrant disobedience of an order by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that status quo be maintained.

Obuah maintained that the duration for the ‘so-called’ election contravened relevant sections of the Electoral Act and laws establishing the 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, and that before an election will hold, an Election Tribunal must be inaugurated.

The PDP also insisted that INEC had openly denied releasing the certified Voters Register to RSIEC in compliance with a court order.

“We therefore, urge members of the PDP, Rivers people and Nigerians at large, to ignore any announcement of results of the purported Local Government Elections and the alleged issuance of Certificates of Return to any person,” Obuah said.

On its part, the State APC Chairman, Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said the successful conduct of the polls, which was marred voters apathy, has once more demonstrated that Rivers State is an APC state.

Ikanya congratulated the electorate for having faith in the party by electing all the 22 candidates presented by it.

According to him, RSIEC’s transparent conduct of the council elections proved that conducting a credible election was not rocket science.

The party, therefore, urged the newly elected council chairmen to promote security and development of their various areas and implement APC’s manifesto.



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