The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom has rejected the creation of 39 new political wards by the State Independent Electoral Commission, saying that it has no powers to do so.
A statement by the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Mr Nkeruwem Enyongekere, in Uyo Thursday, described the exercise as dubious, illegal and unilateral and urged Akwa Ibom people to disregard it.
He said that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria empowered only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create wards.
The APC spokesman cited the Supreme Court’s nullification of similar wards creation in Cross River to butress the party’s position.
“In line with the resolution of the State Working Committee issued at its meeting of July 28, 2020.
“The All Progressives Congress, Akwa Ibom State chapter, rejects in totality the dubious, unilateral and illegal creation of 39 electoral wards in the state by Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission as announced by its Chairman, Mr Ikoiwak on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
“The party, therefore, calls on Akwa Ibom people to disregard this illegality, as the state has no such powers to create electoral wards.
“The Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria vests the power of creating wards only in Independent National Electoral Commission.
“The nullification of similar wards creation by the Supreme Court when it happened in Cross River State attests to our current position,” he said.
He expressed surprise that such important issue of wards creation was not part of the agenda during the stakeholders’ meeting convened by AKISIEC on July 17 to discuss the upcoming local government election.
He argued that even if the state was vested with such power to create electoral wards, it was unconstitutional for the state electoral umpire to create wards in total exclusion of political parties, stakeholders and communities in the state.
“During the stakeholders meeting in which all other political parties including APC were in attendance to discuss the upcoming 2020 local government elections in the state, the creation of additional electoral wards in the state was not mentioned at all for discussion.
“The non inclusion of that on the agenda by the AKISIEC for deliberations exposes the sinister motives of AKISIEC and PDP led government.
“With the upcoming Local Government Elections just around the corner, this impromptu creation of wards amounts to shifting the goal posts in the middle of the match and it is absolutely not acceptable to APC in Akwa Ibom State,” he said.
The party spokesman said that APC as a party would use every constitutional means at its disposal to ensure that “the illegality does not stand.”