Accreditation and voting have started in some polling units in the Rivers Local Government Election where seventeen political parties are contesting for positions. The All Progressives Congress (APC) which is the 18th political party on the ballot is the only one not recognized.
The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) had initially listed 18 political parties for the election but the APC wrote to the commission that it would not be participating in the elections reducing the number of parties to 17. The party was included when a faction led by Senator Magnus Abe wrote to the state electoral umpire to participate in the election, but when the Supreme Court settled the party’s leadership crisis, recognizing the Chibuike Ameachi faction as the authentic leadership, the party then wrote to RSIEC to withdraw for the election.
Meanwhile, security men have been deployed to strategic locations in the state, to mount roadblocks and enforce the State Government order on the restriction of movement till after the election at 5:00 pm. Earlier, Police authorities have deployed 17,500 officers to provide security before, during, and after the local government election in Rivers State. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nnamdi Omoni, explained that the personnel would be supported by operatives to be deployed by other security agencies.
According to him, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Eboka Friday, who is also the Chairman of Inter-Agency Consultative Forum on Election Security for the poll, has barred highly placed individuals, including politicians from going to the polling stations with their security aides.