By Isaiah Eka
Uyo – The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak, said the commission would deploy 10, 000 personnel for the forthcoming local government elections in the state.
Ikoiwak said this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ security meeting held in Uyo at the instance of the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Zubairu Muazu.
He said that most of the personnel would be ad hoc as the commission’s 400 members of staff in the state were grossly inadequate for the elections scheduled for Dec. 2.
“On the election day, we are likely to deploy close to 10, 000 personnel for the conduct of the election; out of this, up to 400 will be staff of the commission while over 9,000 are indigenes of the state.
“I want to assure Akwa Ibom people that we are going to do everything within our powers to make this election credible and fair.
“I want to add that the process of a free and fair election is not the responsibility of the commission alone,’’ he said.
The chairman said that security was critical in the elections and solicited the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure a hitch-free election.
He said that there would be display of voters register in all local government areas across the state from Wednesday, in line with the Electoral Act.
Ikoiwak appealed to traditional rulers to ensure that there was peace in their domains so that democracy would be established in the third tier of government.
Earlier, the commissisoner of police said that the meeting was necessary as the local government elections were drawing near.
Muazu said that the polls were very important as it would usher in democratically-elected officers at the grassroots.
He said that security agencies would provide adequate security before, during and after the elections.
The commissioner called on political parties which were at the centre of the process to ensure that election was conducted in accordance with the rule of the game.
He urged the traditional rulers, as custodians of peace, to advise their subjects not to allow themselves to be used as thugs during the elections.
Muazu urged politicians not to see elections as do-or-die affairs.
In a goodwill message, Chairman, Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers Council, Effiong Archianga, advised politicians not to tear the state apart because of their selfish ambitions.
He said that politics would come and go but Akwa Ibom would remain.
Archianga advised the youth not to allow politicians to use them as thugs during the elections.
He said “our youths should not be allowed to be used as thugs because of peanuts to avoid wasting their lives. Let politicians use their own children as thugs.” (NAN)