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IFES pledges support for Akwa Ibom LG polls

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The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission, Aniedi Ikoiwak, has said the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, has agreed to equip situation rooms for effective monitoring of the October 31 Local Government elections.

Ikoiwak announced this while speaking on an Inspiration FM 105.9 public enlightenment programme monitored by our correspondent, in Uyo on Monday.

He said, “IFES has promised to equip our situation rooms with gadgets to enable us to respond to election issues in different places.”

According to him, officials of the commission will be on the ground to handle issues as they arise across the local government areas.

While responding to complaints about the disqualification of candidates from the upcoming elections, the AKISIEC boss said, “The Chairman of the National Rescue Movement came to my office after the deadline for submission of forms of all candidates had expired; telling me to impute the name of candidates of Esit -Eket and Ukanafun local government areas, and I told him that such an act is against the electoral law.

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“AKISIEC did not disqualify anybody. Let me also say that, for you to be a candidate, you must qualify to be a candidate and follow given guidelines for electoral process.”

He noted that the party also failed to provide details of the running mates of the two candidates they tried to get into the list.

Responding to claims that he is a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ikowak, said, “I don’t know why I’m tagged a member of the PDP. For the past 10 years in INEC as Resident Electoral Commissioner, one of the criteria is that you can’t be a member of any political party.

“I have conducted elections where different political parties won in different states. So, if anyone wants to tag me a member of a political party, let me carry the tag of all political parties that won in states I had supervised.”

PUNCH.

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