The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that it would not remove its Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Obo Effanga, saying that it does not take directive from anybody.
INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, stated this while responding to an enquiry from our correspondent on Monday.
Among other demands, the spokesman for the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, had in a statement on Sunday said the redeployment of Effanga became necessary to prevent him from skewing the forthcoming supplementary elections in favour of the opposition.
He had alleged that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, through Effanga, engaged the PDP card-carrying members as local government area collation officers in the last poll and was capable of repeating same in forthcoming elections.
Our correspondent on Monday asked Osaze-Uzzi if the commission would accede to the demands of the APC.
But the INEC officer said it was the prerogative of the commission to move resident electoral commissioners.
He said, “We have been hearing that for a long time, it is not new. Did we change the REC in Akwa Ibom? The prerogative of moving RECs is that of the commission. INEC doesn’t take directive from anybody. If the commission sees the need to move anybody, at the appropriate time, it will do that and if there is no need, it will keep them where they are.
“It is the complete prerogative of the commission; if and when the need arises, we will make the necessary adjustments. So, we don’t take dictation or pleas from external groups, more so principal players in the game.”
Besides its call for the removal of Rivers REC, the APC rejected INEC’s decisions to resume collation of results in Rivers and Bauchi states.
The commission had suspended the collations of the results of governorship and the House of Assembly elections in Rivers State due to violence.
The commission, which initially said there would be supplementary governorship poll in Bauchi, later stated that it would resume the collation of results in the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state.