Umahi signs electoral bill, LG poll holds soon

The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has signed the Ebonyi State Electoral and Related Matters Bill into law.

While signing the bill at the Government House in Abakaliki, Umahi explained that the new law, which came into force by 1.40pm on January 20, 2017, was necessary following the nullification of the old law of queuing behind   candidates by the Federal High Court and the withdrawal of the appeal filed against the ruling.

Umahi said, “You will recall that the last administration had local government election and the elected persons were functioning until somebody took the outcome to court. The court ruled that the law was improper. I think it was an open ballot system.

 The House of Assembly then appealed the ruling but the executive accepted it and dissolved the councils.

“The House, however,   appealed and there is no way you can conduct another local government election if that matter is still pending in the Court of Appeal.”

Umahi pointed out that the new law would enthrone full democracy in the LGAs, noting that representatives in party primaries would emerge based on the wish of the people.

The governor, in a statement on Friday by his spokesman, Emma Anya, also stated that the law had empowered the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission to commence the process of conducting local government election.

 “With this new law,  the ball is now with EBSIEC to blow the whistle for the political parties to start political activities in our local governments and the thinking of the party leadership is that we should teach the world the example of what democracy is, by making sure that our party’s primaries are based on the people,” he said.

 Umahi, while disclosing that the Speaker of the House and the National Vice Chairman of the PDP would serve as observers of the primaries, encouraged them to convene stakeholders’ meetings in each local government in order to ensure that only aspirants capable of winning were chosen to stand for the chairmanship and councillorship positions.

His said, “Whoever the people want should be the person that will go for us. I believe that the party leadership, especially the working committee members, and I say the Speaker and the national vice chairman should become observers.”