Ahead of October 31 council election in Akwa Ibom State, the state Independent Electoral Commission has offered explanation on why it created 39 new electoral wards for the forthcoming elections in the state.
This, AKISIEC said the 13 electoral wards in each of the three Senatorial Districts of the state, would bring total number of wards to 368. Before now, the state had 329 electoral wards spread across 31 local government areas of the state.
In a briefing at AKISIEC Office, 5 Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo yesterday, AKISIEC Chairman Elder Aniedi- Abasi Ikoiwak, said this was done pursuant to Part 11, Section 2, 3 and Section 12 of Akwa Ibom Independent Electoral Commission Law 2007 to help decongest most of the collation centres during COVID-19.
Ikoiwak said although his commission inherited 237 wards, the law empowered it to create new wards every 10 years.
“Consequently, the commission wishes to notify the general public that these wards are AUTHENTIC electoral wards in Akwa Ibom State and same will be used for the forthcoming local government elections scheduled for Saturday, 31st October, 2020,” he said.
He, however, stated that despite the creation of the new wards, elections would still hold at the existing 2,918 polling units in the state.
AKISIEC boss commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for facilitating the creation of the wards, an exercise that had delayed for 24 years, saying a new date for the submission of Forms 001 and 002 by the political parties has been fixed for 27th and 30th August, 2020 while the conduct of the party primaries would be extended from Tuesday, 11th to 26th August, 2020, to accommodate the newly created/re-aligned electoral wards in the state.