The Akwa Ibom State chapter of The All Progressives Congress (APC), has rejected the creation of thirty-nine new electoral wards by the State Independent Electoral Commission, AKISIEC.
In a statement signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Nkereuwem Enyongekere, made available to newsmen yesterday, 29 July, 2020, in Uyo said that the Commission has no such powers to create new electoral wards.
The statement stressed that the Nigerian constitution empowers only the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to create wards, citing the Supreme court’s nullification of similar wards creation in Calabar, Cross River State, to illustrate its position.
“In line with the resolution of the State Working Committee issued at the meeting of July 28, 2020, the All Progressives Congress Akwa Ibom State Chapter rejects in totality the dubious, unilateral and illegal creation of 39 Electoral Wards in the State by Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission as announced by its Chairman, Mr. Ikoiwak on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
“The party, therefore, calls on Akwa Ibom people to disregard this illegality, as the State has no such powers to create electoral Wards. The Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria vests the power of creating wards only in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The nullification of similar wards creation by the Supreme Court when it happened in Cross River State attests to our current position “the statement reads in part”.”
The party said they were shocked that the issue of wards creation was not part of the agenda during the Stakeholders’ meeting convened by AKISIEC on Friday, July 17, 2020, to discuss the imminent LG election.
“With the upcoming Local Government elections just around the corner, this impromptu creation of wards amounts to shifting the goalposts in the middle of the match and it is absolutely not acceptable to APC in Akwa Ibom State.
“We wish to advise all our party faithful to remain peaceful and law-abiding in the face of this vexed development”, the statement said.