The House of Representatives yesterday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to urgently conclude pending legislative elections in Rivers and Anambra states.
The House also mandated its committees on Legislative Compliance and Electoral Matters to ensure compliance with the House resolution of June 23.
It advised that INEC should conclude all elections in Rivers State and revert within two weeks with a confirmed date for the election.
The committees are to revert to the House within two weeks with a confirmed date for the polls.
The House resolution followed a motion brought under Urgent National Importance by Minority Leader Leo Ogor (PDP, Delta) and five other members.
Ogor noted that INEC’s inability to conduct rerun in both states had denied the people their constitutional right to representation at the National and states’ Houses of Assembly.
The lawmaker accused INEC of disregarding a December 2015 order of the Court of Appeal, which directed that rerun in Rivers State should be conducted within 60 days.
He said: “But INEC has since consistently failed, neglected and/or refused to do so, apart from the one it conducted on March 9, in only four out of the 12 Federal (and few state) constituencies that rerun elections were ordered in December 2015.”
Ogor said INEC under its former Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, successfully conducted peaceful elections in Borno and other Northeast states, which were under Boko Haram terrorist attacks.
He said: “Yet, the present leadership of INEC has consistently neglected, failed and/or refused to conduct elections in only about eight local governments of Rivers state, citing security concerns.”
According to him, the action has “led to a denial of the people’s right to participate in critical national issues which have come for deliberation, including national appropriation”.
Ogor added: “While almost all states are adequately represented in the parliament, Rivers State continues to be unrepresented due to INEC’s deliberate neglect and refusal to conduct outstanding elections in the state.”
Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila said there was need to safeguard the country’s democracy by conducting the elections.
He said: “This country is underrepresented and there are obvious shortcomings in the constituencies where elections are not concluded.”
Speaker Yakubu Dogara referred the motion to House Committee on Legislative Compliance and Electoral Matters for further legislative action and compliance.