Inconclusive Rivers polls: How Senate reached decision to shut down
The Senate on Wednesday resolved to suspend plenary session if the Independent National Electoral Commission fails to conclude all pending elections in Rivers State before December 10.
The decision of the Senate was sequel to a motion sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, on the non-conclusion of Rivers State election despite the Senate’s resolution on the matter.
The motion was co-sponsored by Ekweremadu and Senator Mohammad Ali Ndume.
Leading the debate on the motion, Ekweremadu complained that in spite of the “Senate’s resolution S/Res/O16/02/16 of 27th day of September 2016 calling on lNEC to immediately conclude all pending re-run elections in the country, lNEC has failed, refused and or neglected to conduct re-run elections in Rivers State into the Senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly”.
He said the failure of INEC to conduct the re-run elections in Rivers State is in breach of Electoral Act and Section 76 of the 1999 constitution.
He added that non-conclusion of the re-run elections has denied the people of the state to be represented in the legislative houses where laws affecting them are being made, and has engendered palpable anxiety amongst people of the State.
Seconding the motion, Ndume said the motion is in order because the people of the State have denied representation in the National Assembly.
However, the Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Abubakar Kyari, informed the lawmakers that the committee has met with the INEC leadership and they vowed to conduct the election by December 10, 2016.
The Deputy Senate President, who had earlier prayed to shut down plenary session by November ending if the election is not conducted by then, immediately changed the prayer to December 10.