Election: INEC Fueling Controversy over Candidature in Parties – Group

By Ikeugonna Eleke

A non-governmental, non-partisan pressure group, Save Anambra Group (SAG), has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of fueling controversies over candidature in some political parties in Anambra State.

The group frowned at the activities of INEC, which, they said, had denied some political parties of their choices of governorship candidates, by recognizing other candidates that were not sponsored and supported by them.

In a statement issued on Monday in Awka, and signed by the National Coordinator of SAG, Dr. Okwuoma Okeke, the group expressed worry that the INEC appeared complicit by giving tacit encouragement to some individuals/groups in the crisis brewing among contenders in the various political parties.

‘We have watched in consternation the unfolding drama and treachery surrounding the acceptance of candidates for the Anambra gubernatorial elections, and have reasons to conclude that INEC has not shown enough independence in its conduct so far.

‘How can any sane person not see the obvious attempt to whittle down the strength of some parties by denying their candidates recognition? Why the hurried acceptance of a court judgement from Birnin Kudu, and yet dithering to accept vacation of the same by a superior court?’ the group queried.

SAG said it had reasons to believe that INEC was playing the script of some external forces bent on foisting an unpopular party and candidate on the people of Anambra State.

The group wondered why INEC would be aiding and abetting subterfuge by a desperate candidate bent on excluding others so as to have a free ride to Anambra Government House.

‘Having observed the obvious inconsistencies and INEC’s lack of transparency so far, we have decided to sound the warning before it is too late, to avoid a situation where the umpire becomes so engrossed in furthering the agenda of the ruling party and ignore the signs of conflagration that will be the outcome, if the right things are not done.

‘We therefore use this medium to call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to call on officials of INEC to live-up to its independence, in Anambra and stop meddling, and rein in some actors in his cabinet who are piling pressure on the umpire to sabotage the will of Ndi Anambra.

‘We also urge the Judiciary to continue to maintain its independence and avoid being drawn in by mercantile politicians who can only lure them only to be ridiculed by the truth. Ndi Anambra, and, indeed, all men of goodwill, are watching with keen interest and will not allow the will of the people to be trampled on,’ the group said.