By Nick Chibunna
The time-table for the July, 14 2018 Local Government elections in Imo State has further been adjusted to July 28, 2018.
The chairman, Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC), Hon. Bethel Ibewuchi, disclosed this at an interactive session with chairmen of registered political parties in the state, as well as the executives of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), Imo State Chapter on the preparations for the forthcoming poll.
Addressing the party leaders, Hon. Ibewuchi said that local government elections in Imo State were originally stated to hold on July 14, 2018, but due to some exigencies, it became necessary to extend the date by two weeks to enable all registered political parties in the state to participate in the process.
He thanked the party chairman for their concern and interest to participate in the forthcoming election, adding that ISIEC wished that all the 68 registered political parties in the country would participate in the exercise.
He also thanked the executives of IPAC, a body that serves as a bridge builder between all the registered political parties in the country and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for their co-operation and support.
Hon. Ibewuchi expressed his joy that more political parties had now shown interest in the election, as against the five registered political parties that indicated earlier.
The electoral boss pleaded with party leaders to eschew bitterness, rancor and violence, but to focus on what would bring peace to the people of Imo State.
He gave July 7 as deadline for primary election for all the political parties, and enjoined them to send the list of their elected candidates to ISIEC office for necessary action.
He ensured all the political parties of level playing ground and urged them to file credible candidates.
All the party leaders who spoke at the parley expressed their willingness to participate in the poll, but asked for necessary assistance, including finance and logistics, to enable them sponsor their candidates, as electoral process is all inclusive.
They also complained of what they described as double taxation whereby candidates were required to pay huge sums of money to obtain nomination and expression of interest forms only to be required to repeat the same with the ISIEC.
They said that it was one of the reasons why some political parties were dragging their feet in response to the forthcoming poll.
Responding, the ISIEC boss asked them to go ahead with their primary elections and other preparations, while the commission would look into their complaint.
About 27 registered political parties in the state attended the session.