2019: Our position on APC participation in Rivers yet to be reviewed – INEC

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said its decision on participation of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State election still stands.

This, the commission said, is because both sensitive and non-sensitive material for the elections have already been dispatched to states in readiness for the polls.

In preparation for the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections, INEC had released the official list of participating parties, excluding APC in Rivers and Zamfara States.

This was in obedience to a court order given based on the parallel primaries and dispute within APC in Rivers State.

However, four days ago, an Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt, granted a stay on the earlier judgment.

APC in the state has since been celebrating, asking INEC to list its candidate, Mr Tonye Cole, recognised by the party at the national level.

INEC’s national commissioner and chairman, voter education and publicity, Mr Festus Okoye, said the commission’s position is yet to change but if there is a change in the situation of things, the commission would meet to review its stand.

He made this known at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.

“We have taken a decision relating to the issue of Rivers and if anything changes before we take our final decision, the commission will meet and also take a decision,” said Okoye.

“But we have not taken any other decision and we have not repealed our position on the issue of Rivers.”

Speaking on INEC’s preparedness for the forthcoming general elections, Mr Okoye said the commission has started the deployment of sensitive materials and non-sensitive materials to states.

Due to this, he said the commission has asked Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to beef up security at the various local government offices.

“Some of these ones have gone to the various local governments.

“These materials are being delivered on daily basis to the various Central Bank branches in the various states of the federation. So, we are gradually getting ready for the conduct of the elections.”

Reacting to the burnt permanent Voters Card (PVC) in Abia State, Mr Okoye said the commission would look at the possibility of printing new PVCs for those affected.

Expressing disappointment, he said the commission, thought that the era of burning offices of the commission had come to an end.

 

PT

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