Akwa Ibom governor bows to opposition, dissolves state electoral commission

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has dissolved the board of the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission, AKISIEC.

Mr. Emmanuel, who announced the dissolution of the board in a letter to the State House of Assembly, also asked the House to approve his new nominees for the board.

The governor subsequently nominated Aniedi Ikoiwak as the new chairman of the commission, according to his letter read out Tuesday in the House by the Speaker, Onofiok Luke.

Other nominees are Patrick Ifon, Mathew Udo, Usoro Ukpanah, Sunday Aniefiok, E. E. Umoh, and Effiong Umanah.

The opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, had earlier rejected the leadership of the electoral commission by Gloria Ukpong and went ahead to announce that it wasn’t going to participate in the local government council election in the state.

The election is scheduled for November 11.

The APC had said that the commission lacked the credibility to conduct a free and fair election based on the antecedent of Mrs. Ukpong in the two previous elections she conducted.

It also alleged that Mrs. Ukpong had overstayed in office, beyond the period prescribed by the law establishing AKISIEC.

The party later made a U-turn and said it was going to participate in the election, but that it was going to court to challenge the legality of Mrs. Ukpong’s continuous stay in office.

The APC spokesperson in the state, Bassey Eyo, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on the development, said he was pleased with what happened.

He commended Governor Emmanuel for abiding by the rule of law.

“Those were the things that were being swept under the carpet when it was PDP all the way,” Mr Eyo, a lawyer, said.

“People didn’t bother to know whether rules were kept.”

Mr. Eyo, however, said that the APC was still going to pursue its court case against the state government because “we have other issues bordering on non-compliance to the law governing the conduct of the election”.


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