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Thursday, November 28, 2013

OPINION: Should INEC Cancel Anambra Election?


The APC leaders were barred from entering the INEC office.
The leadership and supporters of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, Thursday stormed the national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in a protest march to demand the cancellation of the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State.
The party had two weeks ago addressed a press conference, calling on the electoral umpire to cancel the entire election and order a fresh one. It said the supplementary election proposed by INEC was not recognised by the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
The APC protesters who trekked from the party’s office in Wuse 2 were prevented from gaining entrance into the commission’s headquarters by armed soldiers, and police officers.
In their protest letter delivered by the National Chairman of APC, Bisi Akande, the party stated that INEC deliberately sabotaged the election in Anambra in order to appease the PDP and grant the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, victory through illegal means.
“The elections that were superintended over by your commission was grossly below any acceptable standard, whether local or international.
The deliberate tactic to prevent democracy and serve the two parties’ interests, PDP and particularly APGA in this case cannot be democratic and in the voters’ interest,” the letter addressed to Mr. Jega said.
Apart from demanding the cancellation of the election, APC also asked INEC to discard the voters register used in the election, which it described as fake, adding that the commission should produce an authentic register that will not disenfranchise any voter and be published 30 days before any election can take place in Anambra state.
APC also asked for the suspension and prosecution of all officials of INEC who have ever been indicted for electoral perfidy to purge the commission of such compromised officials.
It also called for the immediate redeployment and investigation of the current Anambra Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Chukwuemeka Onukogu.
In his brief remarks, a national leader of the APC and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, called on the Chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega to resign for his failure to conduct a free and fair election in Nigeria.
Mr. Tinubu also chided the police officers who prevented the protesters from gaining entrance to INEC; saying the police had allowed itself to be turned into the armed squad of the ruling PDP.
“We allowed you today because we have already submitted our protest letter, but next time we would not allow any high handedness by the police,” Mr. Tinubu said.
Among those who attended the protest march were the National Chairman of APC, Bisi Akande; former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari; former ANPP chairman, Ogbonnaya Onu; and some members of the National Assembly; Ahmed Sani, Ahmed Lawan, Abike Dabiri.
PREMIUM TIMES, however, noticed that while most of the protesters trekked all the way to INEC, the leaders of the party drove in their air condition SUVs and only got off and climbed unto the open van used at the venue of the presentation of the protest letter.
Mr. Jega said last week Wednesday that INEC would not cancel the Anambra election because there was no substantial evidence warranting such.
The INEC chairman also said those complaining about the election did not provide concrete evidence on why the election should be cancelled.
Source: Premium Times