Elections may return again in Rivers State as Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is swearing in six new members of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) at the Executive Council Chamber of the Government House Port Harcourt by 6pm Saturday, February 3, 2018.
The re-composition of RSIEC seems to be confirmation of the hints that local council elections are around the corner. Council elections have been rare in Rivers State, just like in most other states under democracy. Governors hardly allowed the council elections to hold.
The delay was also there in the Chibuike Amaechi years when the council election was held towards the end of his tenure. The persons elected were uprooted immediately Wike came to power and the matter has been from court to court in Nigeria. Many fear that a flurry of court cases may dog any election time table in the state from those who still lay claims to the councils.
The swearing in of new RSIEC members would also end the tenure of previous members. According to a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media, on 3rd February, 2018, the RSIEC members who were screened and confirmed by the Rivers State House of Assembly include Dr Reginald Amadi, Professor Jones M. Jaja, Rev. Innocent Karibo, Mrs Florence Amiesimaka, Mr Etete Festus, and Prof Ezioma Ekpete.
The statement further said: “It will be recalled that the Rivers State House of Assembly approved the request of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for the removal of the following as members of RSIEC in public interest. Those removed as members of RSIEC are Chimaroke Mgbah, Engr Kombo Johnson, Mr Ugbana Martins, Dr Robinson Olulu, Chief Kingsley Stanley Obudibo, and Dr. Mrs Juliet C. Berewari.