In anticipation of the upcoming local government elections on September 21 across the 27 LGAs in Imo State, the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC) has pledged a free, fair, and peaceful electoral process.

Charles Ejiogu, Chairman of ISIEC, emphasized this commitment during a stakeholders’ meeting focused on achieving credible elections. Ejiogu noted that this will be the fifth local government election since the re-establishment of democracy in 1999, following previous elections in 1999, 2004, 2010, and 2018. Highlighting the importance of local governance, he affirmed that it is crucial for rural development and grassroots democracy.

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According to Ejiogu, the 2000 law establishing ISIEC, as amended in Law No. 14, mandates the Commission to oversee free, transparent, and credible local elections. He announced, “ISIEC has scheduled to conduct the much-expected council elections in the 305 Registration Areas/Wards and all 4,758 polling units in the 27 Local Government Area Councils of Imo State on Saturday, September 21, 2024. Therefore, the Commission is taking this opportunity to assure all critical stakeholders of its preparedness to perform its constitutional duty.”

During the meeting, Ejiogu detailed plans for recruiting ad-hoc personnel, ensuring both field and internal staff are adequately prepared. He also stressed the importance of security, revealing that the Commission is coordinating with security agency leaders to ensure a secure and smooth election process. “Adequate logistics and ground power will be mounted as it is key to the successful conduct of the forthcoming council polls,” he stated.

The ISIEC Chairman highlighted ongoing efforts to engage and mobilize critical stakeholders, including traditional rulers, political leaders, and other relevant bodies. He acknowledged the support from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, expressing confidence in their continued assistance. “The voluntary agencies are not left out in this regard, and we cannot take any of them for granted,” he added.

Ejiogu also underscored the media’s role in the election, describing them as essential partners in progress. He expressed gratitude to the governor for facilitating the electoral process and assured that ISIEC is committed to fulfilling its mandate.

The meeting saw attendance from heads of security agencies, sole administrators of the 27 LGAs, political leaders, traditional rulers, civil society organizations, market women, youth groups, and religious leaders.