Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State has reiterated his commitment to strengthening democratic structures by insisting that local government elections in the state must hold in the next six months as promised during the swearing in of local government interim committee members last month.
He stated this during the swearing in of chairmen and members of ISIEC and ISOPADEC boards as well as Special Advisers and Permanent Secretaries at the Sam Mbakwe Exco Chambers yesterday.
Speaking at the occasion, the governor stated that he promised on assumption of office to strengthen existing institutional frameworks through good governance and community mobilisation.
“We are coming at a time our state had gone through trying times. The task before us is to correct the anomalies of the past and restore confidence and hope of Imo people in government. It is a time to recover lost grounds and take our pride of place again in scheme of national development.
Tasking the newly sworn in commissioners, he said, “your appointment respectively is a call to duty and not an invitation for celebration.
“I believe that ISIEC and ISOPADEC will play great roles in the operation to revive our state. While ISIEC will be expected to put machinery in motion for a free and fair elections in local governments in a no distant time, ISOPADEC is charged to drive rural infrastructural development as well as provisions of social and public amenities to the state especially in the oil producing communities.
“I need to remind you that for ISOPADEC, you will not function in breach of the laws of our state. To ISIEC he insisted, “I clearly stated on the 18th day of June during the inauguration of the LGA Interim Committee that local Government elections must hold within six months. I still maintain my position that election should hold in six months’ time, you have no time left as you must give 150 days’ notice of elections as required by the Electoral Act.
Responding, the Chairman of ISIEC, Julius Onyenaucheya promised that ISIEC under him will conduct the freest and fairest election ever witnessed in the state and pledged the loyalty and cooperation of all the appointees so sworn in to the present administration and the rebuilding process.