Posted by News Express | 17 November 2013 | 5,248 times
Unknown to most people, defeated Anambra governorship candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), have since last night been making efforts to see that the result of the election is not announced pending when their grievances are taken care of the way they want.
While other parties and their candidates were preparing for the rescheduled election in Obosi, Ngige and APC wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), trying to convince it not to go ahead with the ballot and not to announce the election result.
The letter addressed to INEC Chairman, Prof. Atttahiru Jega, was submitted yesterday night. It was jointly signed by Senator Ngige and APC National Secretary, Alhaji Tijjani M. Tumsah.
Below is the text of the letter entitled “COMPLAINT ON THE CONDUCT OF THE ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION”:
Senator Chris Ngige is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Anambra State Governorship Election of 16th November, 2013. We wish to bring to your notice serious breaches of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in relation to the conduct of the election as reported to us by our accredited agents in areas where the party has overwhelming support.
1. IDEMILI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA: As at 2 p.m. when most of the voters ought to have cast their votes, election materials were yet to arrive the local council. Idemili North Local Government has the highest number of registered voters in the State at 173, 832.
2. IDEMILI SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA: Several qualified voters were disenfranchised, as their names were not on the voters’ register. Indeed, the voters’ registers used in the local council were different from the voters’ registers given to the participating political parties. Idemili South Local Government Area, my home local council, has 85, 731 registered voters.
3. AWKA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA: The names of a lot of eligible voters were expunged or missing from the Voters’ Register. The voters’ registers used in the local councils were different from the voters’ registers given to the participating political parties, for instance, Awka South Local Government Area which is my strong hold and has 118,312 registered voters.
4. IHIALA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA: Massive fraudulent practices at Umuchima Polling Unit 14, Uli Ward I.
Aside from Ihiala Local Government Area, the three local councils above comprise 377,875 of the total 1,784,536 registered voters. Instructively, these are areas where I have very high voter support base.
We note that these developments are very worrisome, and will seriously impact the outcome of the election. Even more instructive is that contrary to assurances by the INEC Chairman at the stakeholders’ forum held in Awka during the week, the numerous cases of disenfranchised voters clearly indicate that voters’ register is far from “clean.”
We recall that these irregularities were recorded massively during the 2010 Governorship Election and to an extent the 2011 National Assembly Elections in the state and for which repeat elections were held in certain areas. We further note that following discovery of a systematic plot to disenfranchise areas where we have strong support base, we called for the removal of the current Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra State for his apparent partisanship and lack of grip on the electoral process. Albeit our call was neglected, the Tribunals upturned several of the elections supervised by that same Commissioner.
We again repeated this call more recently in the run-up to this election. Regrettably, and for inexplicable reasons, this call has not been heeded. It is therefore not surprising that these irregularities have manifested again.
a. We strongly reject the decision by the Commission, as announced by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, to conduct re-run elections tomorrow (Sunday, 17th November 2013) in 65 Polling Units at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area as all the electoral wards affected in Idemili North Local Government Area are affected and also in some other Local Government Areas e.g. Okopoko Ward IV in Ogbaru Local Government Area and Wards 8 and 9 of Awka South LGA.
b. The Supervising Polling Officers (SPOs) of nine (9) Wards of Obosi, Abatete, Nkpor I, Nkpor II, Ogidi I, Ogidi II, Uke, Eziowelle and Umuoji that have already affirmed to your National Commissioner (Operations) that no election took place in their wards as we write.
c. We demand that elections be conducted not only in Obosi but also in the entire Idemili North Local Government Area electoral wards, as no election held in all parts of the Local Government Area. We request that this repeat election be held on a date that will be conducive to the voters who are in the main Christians as a Sunday date (tomorrow) is completely unsuitable and will conflict with their religious obligations.
d. We demand that the results for Uli Ward I Poling Unit and Uli Umuchima Polling Unit 14 be cancelled due to obvious gross irregularities and non-compliance with the electoral codes.
Further, we strongly request that your Commission does not declare any results relating to the Governorship Election until repeat elections are held in these areas where these irregularities occurred and in consonance with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and laid down guidelines of INEC’s Electoral Manual, more so as most of our supporters have been disenfranchised in these areas.
We further implore you to improve on the conduct of the repeat elections so that the true wishes of the people of Anambra State are expressed through the ballot box as doing anything to the contrary will further damage the image of your commission. It is imperative to also let you know that most of the abandoned elections were caused by poor logistics deployment and the fraudulent removal of results sheets by your staff, a situation we regard as criminal and shameful and in total contravention of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
We urge your urgent attention on this matter.
•Photo shows Senator Ngige.
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