The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has vehemently rejected the creation of 39 electoral wards in the state by the State Independent Electoral Commission. This was as the party, which insisted that the electoral umpire had no powers to do so, urged APC to boycott the proposed Local Government Council polls in the state. APC described the exercise as “dubious, illegal and unilateral,” and called on the people of the state and party supporters to disregard the ward delineation. Publicity Secretary of the party, Nkereuwem Enyongekere, in a statement yesterday, noted that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create wards, citing the Supreme Court’s nullification of similar wards creation in Calabar, Cross River State, to buttress the APC’s position.
The statement reads in part: “In line with the resolution of the State Working Committee (SEC) issued at the 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 (AKISIEC) as announced by its Chairman, Mr. Ikoiwak on Sunday, July 26, 2020. “The party, therefore, called 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 the Independent National Electoral Commission. The nullification by the Supreme Court of similar wards creation when it happened in Cross River State attests to our current position.” The APC spokesman further expressed surprise that such important issue of wards creation was not part of the agenda during the political party stakeholders’ meeting convened by AKISIEC on Friday, July 17, 2020 to discuss the forthcoming council election, saying such action has exposed the sinister motives of the state electoral umpire and PDP in the state.
He, therefore, argued that even if the state was vested with such power to create electoral wards, it was unconstitutional for the state electoral umpire to conspire with the PDP to create wards to their advantage and in total exclusion of other political parties, stakeholders and communities in the state