The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday in Abuja said that it had fixed December 10 for rerun elections in Rivers State.
The announcement, which was made by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu, came a day after the Senate threatened to abandon plenary if the commission refused to organise the election and other rerun elections in the country before December 10.
The Senate had said that the refusal of the electoral body to conduct the elections was depriving the people of the areas involved of having representatives in both chambers of the National Assembly.
Though INEC said it was not moved by the threat of the boycott of the plenary, it however said that the fixing of the dates for the elections was done after what it described as “extensive consultations.”
Rivers State does not have a single senator in the Senate, while the state still has some vacant seats in the House of Representatives and the state House of Assembly.
Apart from Rivers State, Ogakwu said that the commission would conduct elections in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory.
The commission stated that election into a vacant seat in the House of Representatives from Lagos State and the councillorship election in the FCT, according to Ogawku, would hold also on December 3.
The commission had on Wednesday demanded an undertaking from political parties that they would not cause any mayhem anytime it fixed the rerun elections in Rivers State.
It said there was no way it would be able to conduct a free, fair, credible and acceptable election in the state when political parties were not ready to sheathe their swords.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated the commission’s position in an interview with our correspondent.
Oyekanmi said though the commission appreciated the Senate’s concern, the electoral body did not need the ultimatum before doing the right thing.
He said, “If you can recall, there was an election in March this year in the state during which violence was unleashed on our officials.”