The All Progressives Congress (APC), Akwa Ibom State chapter, has rejected the creation of thirty-nine new electoral wards by the State Independent Electoral Commission, AKISIEC.
The party in a statement signed by it Publicity Secretary, Mr. Nkereuwem Enyongekere, and made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo, said that the Commission has no such powers to create new electoral wards.
It stressed that the Nigerian constitution empowers only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create wards, citing the Supreme court’s nullification of similar wards creation in Calabar, Cross River State, to buttress it 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 Republic of Nigeria vests the power of creating wards only in the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“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 expressed surprise 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 upcoming LG election.
It alleged that the state electoral umpire conspired with the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the State to create wards to their advantage and vowed to use every constitutional means at its disposal to ensure that the illegality does not stand.
“During the stakeholders meeting in which all other political parties including APC were in attendance to discuss the upcoming 2020 local government elections in the State, the creation of additional electoral wards in the state was not mentioned at all for discussion.
“The non-inclusion of that on the agenda by the AKISIEC for deliberations exposes the sinister motives of AKISIEC and PDP led government of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
“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.