Recently, Rivers State has given birth to chains of controversies; from governance to politics; from security to economic down turn. This time is the decision by the Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi led government to conduct a local government election before handing over to a new government formed by the PDP.
Below is a protest by the state chapter of PDP to the proposes election being organised by the State Independent Electoral Commission.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Rivers State chapter has described the planned conduct of the Local Government Council elections in the 22 Local Government Areas, LGAs in the State which was announced yesterday, Monday April 20, 2015, by the RSIEC as illegal, provocative and a waste of resources.
The PDP unequivocally rejects and dissociates itself from such arrangement by the Amaechi-controlled Rivers State Electoral body (RSIEC) under Prof. Augustine Ahiazu, stating that accepting to organize such illegitimate and doubtful exercise at the 11th hour of the termination of the APC-led government in the State does not present the Chairman and his Commission as responsible, honourable and unbiased.
In as much as the Party believes that officials of RSIEC are abreast with the provisions of the Electoral Law and guidelines, particularly as it relates to the conduct of the LG polls, we still wish to bring to their attention the section that stipulates 90 days notice to the political parties before the conduct of any election.
The anxiety, suspicion and distrust which the rush to conduct LG polls is generating since yesterday (Monday April 20, 2015) shows that the state is not ready for another gamble by Amaechi election now. What the Governor ought to be doing now is to constitute May 29 Transition Committee and to ask for submission of handover notes from his Aides and Executive Council members as being done at the centre by President Jonathan.
Our analysis of this development points to the fact that hurrying to conduct election before the end of Gov. Amaechi’s tenure (about four weeks) is done simply to justify the desires of the out-going Governor, including causing political crisis in the State for the incoming Governor to contend with.
Morally, it would be out of place to contemplate plunging the State into another phase of election at a time the tension that arose from last elections is still at our door step.
The PDP is surprised by such sudden realization to hold this exercise, wondering why Amaechi did not give attention to it long before now when he had the opportunity and time since the tenure of the elected chairmen and councillors elapsed over a year ago.
Gov. Amaechi and the APC leadership should explain to Rivers people genuine motive for holding LG polls now other than using it as means of siphoning State resources, fomenting crisis in the State and putting in known elements at the various Local Government Areas that will act as a cog in the wheel of the laudable development programmes to be initiated by the incoming government in the State.
We’re also aware that Governor Amaechi has concluded plans to use his rubber stamp members of the non functioning House of Assembly to amend the laws on conduct of LGA elections midway in the State to enable him continue with the exercise having realised the legal lacuna. This is another way of destroying the fortune and democratic system, as well as perverting justice in the State by a desperate Amaechi.
The PDP therefore, calls on Rivers people to ignore the announcement by the Rivers State Electoral Commission, calling for their participation in the proposed election, saying such action by Gov. Amaechi is in futility, waste of time and Rivers money.
Signed by Jerry Nidam, aide to the state chairman, Felix Obu