By Uzoma Ogoke
The chairman, Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC) Hon. (Mrs) Ugochi Pauline Onyeka has said that the commission has not fixed any date for local government election in the state, saying there are processes to be concluded before fixing of date.
The ISIEC chairman made this clarification while interacting with members of Mbano journalists association who paid her a courtesy visit in her office.
She expressed reservation over some newspaper reports that the commission had fixed June for LGA election and wondered where the newspaper(s) which published the story got the their facts and information from.
“Everything has processes and based on that, we started with courtesy calls to the heads of all security agencies in the state. Having concluded that, we have started tour of the LGAs which is part of steps and processes leading to the conduct of election. The essence of our visit is to ascertain their perception about past elections, to determine areas that need modifications.
“After the LGA tour, we will also invite some stakeholders to inform them our findings from the LGAs and also require their input on further areas of modifications. It is when we are certain that there are no further inputs and modifications that we will talk of fixing dates for the election”.
On her achievements since inception of office, the first female chairman of the commission since its creation, disclosed that she met the commission when it was not looking like election management body, but has brought in innovations to make it fall in line with what is obtainable in a well structured election management body elsewhere.
“I started by creating the departments known to election management bodies which were not in place at the time. I introduced voter education and publicity department, information communication technology department and everything it takes to make the commission look like election management body.
“When the governor appointed me, he told me to go and replicate what happens in INEC and more in ISIEC. He promised to guarantee the independence of the commission, a promise he has kept to the fullest.
“The staff are very happy and feel secure. They now feel they have an administrator and are now enjoying the benefits of being staff of election management agency. Onyeka commended Governor Uzodimma for what he termed his monumental achievements within one year on the saddle as the chief servant of the state.
She appreciated the governor for finding her worthy to handle the highly sensitive position, promising not to betray the confidence he and entire Imolites reposed in her.