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PDP kicks against January 17 proposed date for council poll

By Gbenga Akinfenwa (Lagos) and Charles Ogugbuaja, (Owerri)   |   02 October 2016   |   2:03 am

At last, the Imo State government has declared readiness to conduct election into the 27 local government areas of the state, four years after the disengagement of democratically elected council officials.

Since 2012, when they exited office after several attempts to extend their tenure failed, Directors of Administration and General Services (DAGS) have been running the affairs of the councils.

Like the case of Oyo and Osun States, the governor, Rochas Okorocha has always claimed court cases, as excuse for not conducting council poll.

Five years after he assumed office, Okorocha appears ready, if the words of his Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Public Utilities, Dr. Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, is anything to go by.

Ajumbe, who disclosed this in Owerri, said very soon, the electoral umpire, the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC), would release details of the timetable for the elections.

Ajumbe told The Guardian that the decision was taken during the recent State Executive Council meeting, adding that other resolutions also taken at the meeting, were, the employment of five computer literate graduates across the 305 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) electoral wards.

He noted that though there were issues of litigation regarding the council poll, he added that details would soon be made known to the public.

The major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has however, opposed the plan. The Publicity Secretaries of the two factions- Damian Opara and Enyinnaya Onuegbu, in separate interviews with The Guardian condemned the development.

According to Opara, the election, as proposed is a fraud, demanding explanation from Okorocha why he was unable to organise the poll since 2012.

On his part, Enyinnaya said there was a pronouncement of the Appeal Court, which the state government allegedly did not obey, adding that there had been subsisting Industrial and Supreme Courts matters on it.

Opara said; “As far as PDP is concerned, that proposed election is a fraud. Since he came to power, he has not conducted any local council election. Why now?”

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INECPDPRochas Okorocha

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