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Delta State 2018 Council Polls Are Ordained To Be A Sham, Says Ikimi

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A legal practitioner based in Warri, Oghenejabor Ikimi, Esq. and the Executive Director, Center for the Vulnerable and Underpriviledged, CENTREP, a rights group in Delta State, has said that “the forthcoming Local Government Area polls in the State are ordained to be a sham.”

Reacting to the recent vote of confidence passed on the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, DSEIC, by the Conference of Registered Political Parties in the State, ahead of the polls, Barr. Ikimi described the move as “an offensive brand of politics of the stomach, capable of derailing true democracy at the grassroot.”

In a press release made available to journalists, Ikimi added that: “It is public knowledge that DSEIC, like other States’ Independent Electoral Commission are under the control and supervision of their State Governors, and as such do not have the capacity and audacity to conduct a credible, free and fair Local Government polls in the 25 Local Government Council Areas of the State, come January 6, 2018.”

He continued: “The recent vote of confidence passed on DSIEC by the chairmen of registered political parties in the state, is no doubt an attempt to secure their yearly subvention from the Delta State Government. The said vote of confidence is selfish, as same is not for the purpose of advancing the Nigerian democracy, good governance, human rights and culture.

“The 2018 Local Government Elections guidelines released by DSIEC on the 3rd of October, 2017 is not in conformity with the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and a pointer to the fact that the January 6 polls would be a mere shambolic exercise.”

He stressed that “a week to the Saturday, 6th January elections, there are no displays of Voter Registers in any Wards and Local Government Areas in the State.”

He alleged that “opposition parties for the sake of not losing their yearly subvention from the State Government are scared stiff to challenge the said guidelines released by DSEIC for the said poll.”

Ikimi noted that the registered political parties are the only legal personalities that have the locus to challenge the guidelines in court.

The legal luminary called on the 36 State Houses of Assembly to support the National Assembly’s alteration to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to start conducting council polls nationwide, adding that “until that is done, true democracy would continue to elude the people of the grassroot to their detriment.”

By John Tega

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