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A file photo of APC flags.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the recent creation of new electoral wards by the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) as dubious, unilateral and illegal.

It faulted the creation of the new electoral wards in a statement by the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Nkereuwem Enyongekere.

“In line with the resolution of the State Working Committee (SWC) issued at the meeting of July 28, 2020, the All Progressives Congress, Akwa Ibom State Chapter rejects in totality the creation of the wards,” the statement said.

The party called on the people of Akwa Ibom to disregard the development, describing it as an illegality as the power to create new electoral wards resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

AKISIEC had recently announced the creation of 39 electoral wards in the state, explaining that 13 wards were created from each of the three senatorial districts in the state.

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A map of Akwa Ibom, a state in south-south Nigeria.

Shifting The Goalposts?

In its reaction, the APC stated, “The Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria vests the power of creating wards only in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“The nullification of similar wards creation by the Supreme Court when it happened in Cross River State attests to our current position.”

“Assuming that the state is vested with such power to create electoral wards, is it constitutional for AKISIEC to conspire with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to create wards to their advantage and in total exclusion of other political parties, stakeholders and communities in the state?“ it claimed.

According to the party, the creation of additional electoral wards in the state was not mentioned for discussion in the stakeholders’ meeting convened by AKISIEC on July 17.

It noted that all political parties in the state, including the APC, were in attendance to discuss the upcoming 2020 local government elections in Akwa Ibom.

With the upcoming elections, the party said the creation of wards amounted to “shifting the goalposts in the middle of the match,” adding that it was not acceptable.

It said, “On that note, APC as a responsible party will use every constitutional means at its disposal to ensure that this illegality does not stand.

“We wish to advise all our party faithful to remain peaceful and law-abiding in the face of this vexed development.”