Monday, November 18, 2013

ANAMBRA ELECTIONS: APGA Say They Won!

The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA yesterday claimed victory in Anambra guber election, while the major opposition parties in the contest kicked, alleging wide scale irregularities.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, however, alleged sabotage on the part of some staff of the commission who he claimed derailed the commission's plans for smooth delivery of election materials to some sections of Anambra Central Senatorial district.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate in the election, Comrade Tony Nwoye were divided yesterday over the conduct of the poll.
APGA Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, dismissed allegations by the candidates of PDP, APC and LP that the election was rigged as a non-issue noting that APGA deserved victory because people trust the party and its candidate.
Umeh, responding to complaints by three major contestants that the election was rigged by Governor Peter Obi with the support of some corrupt INEC officials who deleted names of their supporters from the voters register, said he was surprised by the claims ant called them untrue.
"As far as I am concerned the election is free and fair, those people crying blue murder have inordinate ambition."
"What Ngige is doing now is his stock in trade since he has become a serial gubernatorial contestant and as I speak to you now he is still in court over the 2010 election.
He also attacked Tony Nwoye pointing out that he was not even in the race, as Nwoye campaigned for only 4 days in the whole Anambra state can not claim to have been rigged out of an election he was not actively involved
Before his address, the three major candidates, Tony Nwoye, PDP; Ifeanyi Ubah, Labour and Chris Ngige, APC; had at separate press conferences denounced the conduct of the poll and called for its cancellation.
Opposition candidates in joint conference
The three opposition candidates in the course of the joint press conference called for the cancellation of the polls.
They alleged that they would not accept any result from the election as conducted last weekend.
Ubah faulted the outcome of the election,saying that having won convincingly at his Nnewi North local government, which is the stronghold of APGA (the home of Ojukwus), he was confident that he would have won in the entire state had APGA not rigged the poll.
He accused APGA of buying votes for N10,000 each within Nnewi saying that the money was distributed to willing voters by a principal officer of the State House of Assembly.
Nwoye lamented that the election couldn't be characterized as free and said that it was manipulated by INEC in collusion with security agents in favour of Governor Peter Obi's preferred candidate, Willie Obiano.
Interestingly. Nwoye was opposed by his party's national secretariat which praised the conduct of the election noting that the election was conducted without disturbances.
PDP also officially stated,
"We also commend the candidate of our great party, Comrade Tony Nwoye for his resilience, grassroots appeal and credible outing which brought him to the forefront in the race despite having only two weeks to campaign.
The APC meanwhile, in a reaction to the development called for total cancellation of the election result saying that delivery of materials to strongholds of the APC was sabotaged.
In its reaction articulated by the party's Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said:
"After consultations with our agents as well as with local and foreign observers, we have discovered that what we earlier complained about was a child's play, compared to the widespread disenfranchisement that was orchestrated by the same body given the responsibility of ensuring a free, fair and creditable election on Saturday."
Jega meanwhile yesterday alleged sabotage on the part of its officers during the election. Speaking on AIT yesterday, the electoral chief said that a particular officer who masterminded the derailment of the distribution of election materials to Idemili North Local Government Area of the state has been identified and would be prosecuted.
According to him, they made everything possible to enable distribution of materials in time. But he added,
"Unfortunately and regrettably - we are humans. We can do all the preparations, but if people are determined to subvert the process, one way or the other they will subvert it.
"So, they used our staff. I think we should be very careful when we have a staff of about 12,000 in INEC, when one person has committed an offence and then you use it to generalise or condemn everybody in INEC.
Commenting on the situation with Idemili North Local Government, he said the INEC official "messed up" the distribution of ballot box papers and result sheets, which caused delay in distribution of materisl in Idemili.
He continued,
"So, when we discovered at about 1am that there was this mix-up, and we tried to reach the Electoral Officer and the supervisor and there was confusion, and we knew something was fishy, we said there would be no deployment until we sorted out the problem.
"As I speak, we have handed over the Electoral Officer to the police because clearly what he did is a sabotage of the electoral process, including the Local Government supervisor.
At a joint press conference the 3 opposition candidates vowed to reject whatever result that would be announced by INEC from the elections in Anambra State. They expressed their disapproval of the results, which are yet to be announced by INEC.
Ngige said:"Our stand is that Saturday election was characterized by fraud, malpractices and massive irregularities and we call on INEC to put in place another process to conduct a fresh election to enable the people of Anambra elect their governor that will take over from the present governor on March 17 next year.
According to him, the violations include, among others, the omission of the names of many voters in the registers presented for the election in the over 4,000 polling units, translocation of results sheets. What is more, he claims the party agents' accreditation cards were described as fake and they were hounded out hence we had no agents at most poling booths.
In conclusion he said,
"We, therefore, urge the INEC to cancel the charade called election conducted in Anambra and deploy transparent officials including a new Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC to conduct a fresh election in the state.
TMG faults calls for cancellation
The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) said yesterday that it would not subscribe to total cancellation of the Anambra Governorship Election.
In a telephone Interview, Ibrahim said that despite the problem, INEC performed well, however in some areas reelection should be carried out. He, minding the religious belief of people in the area, said that re-scheduling the election for a working day would have been a better idea.
"Our concern is that anything worth doing is worth doing well." Ibrahim advised INEC to let the entire world see that the issues arising from the Anambra poll were appropriately addressed."
via Gistactivist

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