The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Monday announced the postponement of the rerun election, billed to hold in no fewer than eight local government areas in the state, over security concerns.
It was observed that the main opposition political party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the newly registered Young Democratic Party (YDP) were not represented at the meeting where the decision to reject the postponement was reached.
Addressing newsmen in Port Harcourt shortly after the meeting, state chairman of IPAC, Chief Felix Obuah, described the action of INEC as shocking, wondering why the electoral body would take such decision without consulting concerned political parties.
Obuah, who is also the state chairman of the PDP, said the state can safely be described as a haven mainly due to the efforts of the State government in providing logistic support to the security agencies for maintenance of law and order.
He said, “We, members of registered political parties under the aegis of Rivers State Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) have just received but with grave disappointment the news of the suspension of the re-run elections in the State scheduled to hold Saturday, July 30, 2016.
“It’s indeed shocking that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, could arbitrarily suspend the elections without consulting the concerned political parties and inundating us as to why the elections should not go on as planned.
“This is suspicious and clearly shows that Nigeria’s Democracy is on trial by an electoral body that ought to be an unbiased umpire. There is no gainsaying the fact that the State has been relatively peaceful, with the residents carrying on with their businesses across the State lawfully and without any incidence of skirmishes in any part of the State as erroneously alleged.
“Compared to other States where elections and re-run elections have taken place also conducted by same INEC, Rivers State can safely be described as a haven mainly due to the efforts of the State government in providing logistic support to the security agencies for maintenance of law and order.
“Security concerns are a national and indeed, universal phenomenon and not peculiar to Rivers State. To therefore anchor on, or hide under security concerns to postpone elections long prepared for, for almost a year now is to say the least, a blatant lie and deceptive.”