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The Imo state local council elections slated for Saturday,August 25,2018 will see the emergence of 27 local government Chairman and 645 Councillors representing 645 Autonomous Communities in the state.
This development was disclosed Thursday during a press briefing by Imo State Independent Electoral Commission(ISIEC) in Owerri.
According to the Chairman of ISIEC,Mr Ethelbert Ibeabuchi,there is nothing stopping the local council election and no court order barring it from carrying out the election as against rumours peddled around the state.
It said the election would hold as scheduled on Saturday.
Ibebuchi maintained that the council election would be for the positions of chairmen and councillors in the 27 local government areas and 645 ISIEC electoral wards in Imo State.
He said that the only case in court was that of the former council members seeking for the payment of their severance allowance from government and not on whether to conduct or not conduct the election.
“We have not received any court order restraining ISIEC from conducting LGA election.
“Those in court are contending payment of things due to them and not that election should not hold,” Ibebuchi said.
He confirmed the readiness of the state electoral body for Saturday’s election while promising of level playing field to all political parties involved in the contest.
“In a bid to conduct these council elections and get it right, we at ISIEC realised the imperativeness of adopting holistic, pragmatic approach and methodology that culminated in several visits and consultations with critical stakeholders in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile,the Commission is said to mobilized over 8000 ad-hoc staff of varying academic standard for the exercise involving 14 political parties and would hold in the 3,523 polling units.
The electoral said that in a bid to achieve free and fair election in the state that movement would be restricted between 8 a.m and 4p.m while security men have been mobilized to forestall any break down of law and order.
He went on calling on the electorate to come out en-masse and elect candidates of their choice.
However,the main opposition party in the state,Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has distanced the party from the electoral contest as according to a statement released by her state publicity secretary,Damian Oparah,there is an ongoing matter at the Supreme Court urging status quo to be maintained. Also, the PDP in the statement accused the state electoral body of biases in her various activities that further casted doubts on the creadibility of the exercise.
Meanwhile, some opinion analysts have expressed reservation on the 645 councillors to be elected in the midst of mounting economic pressure on the state that owes arrears of pension and gratuities including irregular salary payment and other contractual obligations.