THE Grassroots Development Initiative, GDI has threatened to go to court over the May 23, 2015 date for the local government elections in the state.
The State Independent Electoral Commission had on Tuesday announced that it would conduct local government elections on May 23, this year.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Augustine Ahiazu, said in Port Harcourt that the polls would take place in all the councils, except Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area.
Ahiazu had maintained that the commission was relying on the State Independent Electoral Law No.2 of 2001 as amended and State Local Government Law No.3 of 1999 as amended, to conduct the election.
Ahiauzu said political parties were eligible to sponsor candidates for the election if they were able to complete and submit their expression of interest forms before April 24, 2015.
But the President General of the GDI, Mr. Bright Amaewhule, described the position of RISIEC as illegal, adding that the electoral commission was expected to give a 90-day notice to political parties before the council election.
Explaining that fixing of election date by RISIEC without following due process was the handiwork of the State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Amaewhule vowed that his organisation would challenge the current development in court.
Amaewhule insisted that it was wrong for an election to be fixed without considering the 90 days’ grace given by the law to allow political parties to prepare for the exercise, adding that with the position of RISIEC, political parties would not have time for screening and primaries for aspirants.
For the past one year under the Governor Rotimi Amaechi administration, the local government areas have been governed by caretaker committee chairmen. We don’t see any reason why he (Amaechi) is worried about conducting council elections in a hurry when he has all the opportunities to inform the bodies that would participate in the election to get prepared for it 90 days behind.
“Is Amaechi trying to play out a script that could lead to chaos in Rivers State because we know that the date he has fixed for this election is close to the swearing-in of the governor-elect of Rivers State? We see this as a ploy to destabilise the democracy in Rivers State and Nigeria.
“We are calling on General Muhammadu Buhari, the leader of APC, caution Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his cohorts because Rivers people will rise to the occasion to defend their mandate. We will not allow any illegality to stand