Despite the controversy over the announcement of June 16, 2018 as the date for the local government election in Rivers State, 62 registered political parties in the state have expressed their readiness for the exercise.
The All Progressives Congress has, however, vowed to boycott the election.
Speaking under the aegis of the Rivers State Chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, the political parties explained that they would not boycott the election irrespective of the position of the state APC.
The state Chairman of the APC, Davies Ikanya, told journalists that the reason the party would boycott the exercise was because issues concerning LG election in Rivers were still pending in court.
But the IPAC Chairman, Sam Ihunwo, said in Port Harcourt on Thursday that there was no truth in the claim by the state APC that local government election held in the state on May 23, 2015.
Ihunwo pointed out that his group (IPAC) was irked by what they described as “unfortunate and ill-considered” decision of the APC to withdraw from the forthcoming council poll.
“As you can see, 62 political parties are present to express their happiness with the state Independent Electoral Commission for putting the machinery in place to conduct free, fair and genuine local government election on June 16, 2018,” he said.
He argued that the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. PHC/47/2015 put paid to whatever hope the APC had on the validity of the said May 23, 2015 local government election.
Speaking with journalist earlier, the state APC chairman had insisted that RSIEC should not conduct any local government election in the state until issues pending in various courts concerning council leadership in the state were determined.
Ikanya explained that RSIEC was not expected to conduct council poll at a time the court had yet to rule on the sacking of former council chairmen in the state, which he described as illegal.
He said, “Would RSIEC turn itself to Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court? Why can’t they wait for the court to determine the matter before fixing a date for council election? We are also saying that RSIEC, as presently constituted, cannot conduct election.’’