The newly reconstituted Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) has been charged to ensure it conducts a credible election in compliance with the Local Government Laws of the state.
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, gave this charge shortly after inaugurating the reconstituted electoral commission at the executive chambers of the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The governor who lauded eight members of the commission for their successful screening by the Rivers State House of Assembly, urged them to take the responsibility of conducting a credible election, starting from the ward down to the local government level, seriously.
Governor Wike explained that the inauguration of the new RSIEC became imperative following the expiration of the tenure of the previous chairman and commissioners in July this year
He emphasised that members of the reconstituted RSIEC must take into cognisance the fact that conducting election in the country is an herculean task, amid all kinds of threats and blackmail. But, irrespective of this fact, he urged the members of the commission not to be dispirited in the discharge of their duties.
“It is not an easy job to participate in conducting election, it is quite tasking. It requires every commitment. It is time consuming, it is energy sapping. Sometimes in three days you will not get home” he said.
Governor Wike stressed that members of the commission must detach themselves from social organisations, particularly those with mixed multitude to avoid being accused of partisanship as all eyes will now be on them.
He disclosed that he was aware that some persons were already plotting to thwart the successful conduct of local government election in the State. To this end, he charged the commission not to be deterred by this, but make sure it adheres to the provisions of the law.
“Some many traps will be set for you so that election will not hold. Like I hear people are plotting that the election will not hold. That is not a problem. You do your own work.”
The governor declared that he does not have any vested in the election and insisted that those who want to contest in the election must showcase themselves and tell their people why they want to run for office and be voted for.
“elections must be conducted as soon as possible in compliance with provisions of the Local Government Law as amended” he said
Governor Wike said he would not hesitate to drop any member of the commission if he receives petition with proof that any of them is a card carrying member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State.
“I don’t know any of you who have a PDP membership card. If I do know, I will not have appointed you” he added.
The chairman of the commission, Justice George Omereji (rtd) lauded the governor for finding them worthy to be saddled with the responsibility to oversee the conduct of the next local government election and promised not to disappoint the people of the State.
Other members of the commission are: Dr Doris Ruhuoma Chukwu; Mrs Chioma Ochia; Dr Hope Barango Tariah; Professor Lysias D. Gilbert; Barrister Barine Akpobari Nwikinanei; Dr Iyeneomie Tamunoberetonari and Dr Solomon Egbe.