The Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISEC), Mrs Gloria Ukpong has stated the readiness of the commission to conduct election into local government council in the state.
She made this known yesterday at the Assembly Complex when she defended the commission’s budget estimate for 2017 before the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation.
She said the prompt release of funds will facilitate the conduct of local government election as mandated by the House.
She said that Commission is ready to conduct a credible and acceptable local government election at the grassroots.
“The policy trust of 2017 is to support the conduct of free, fair, credible and acceptable election at the grassroots for sustainable democracy in Akwa Ibom State”.
Continuing, she said the commission will ensure security of voters, personnel and materials during and after the election.
Speaking on the use of card readers to conduct the election, Mrs Ukpong said the commission is ready to use card readers if the Assembly mandate them to do so.
“If the House of Assembly say we should conduct election with card readers, we will gladly do so, because we are ready to conduct election in a way that will give us a reputable result.
“We have train our staffs on how to use the card reader”.
She however stated that conducting the local government election with card readers will require training more personnel, purchase or borrowing of card readers from INEC and adequate power supply.
She noted that only two states in the country have conducted local government election with card readers which was somehow difficult.
Mrs Ukpong who regretted that no provision was made for payment of rent for the commission, says the commission spent 6Millon Naira yearly on payment of rents.
She stressed that some area offices will be shutdown because of rent but noted that 12 local government areas have given the commission accommodation.
Responding, the Chairman of Finance and Appropriation, Rt Hon Usoro Akpanusoh said the committee will meet with the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Onofiok Luke to arrange with chairmen of local government councils to provide accommodations in their area for AKISEC to reduce amount spent on rent by the commission.