By Jude Atupulazi
Those who fear that the presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, may lose votes because of the similarity of logos between the LP and Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, have been told there is no cause for alarm as the country’s Electoral Act does not prohibit any voter from seeking clarification on how to vote for candidates of their choice.
The ZLP candidate for Dunukofia, Njikoka and Anaocha Constituency for the Federal House of Representatives, Barr Val Ayika, disclosed this to Fides in Awka last Wednesday.
According to him, the fact that the youth who constituted the majority of voters were enlightened; as well as the ZLP being the last on the ballot, made it difficult for any confusion to arise.
His words, ‘No doubt there are remarkable similarities in the name and logos of Labour Party, LP, and Zenith Labour Party, ZLP. Despite the said similarities and the high level of illiteracy cum lack of adequate political awareness, I am convinced that there wouldn’t be any confusion whatsoever on the day of the election, vis-a-vis the names and logos of the two political parties.
‘My assertion and conviction are informed by incontrovertible facts like the current, never seen before in the Nigerian polity, interest of the youth in the 2023 general elections. Beyond argument, the youth, flowing from INEC’s voter register, demographically, are the most numerous and most enlightened in terms of political awareness.
‘Secondly, and quite importantly too, the Electoral Act, 2022 does not prohibit any voter from seeking clarification on how to vote for a candidate of the voter’s choice.
Lastly, my campaign on how to vote for me is mostly on the fact that my party logo is the last one on the ballot paper,’ he said, noting that the jurisprudence behind opting for the last logo rather than the content of the logo is actually to bring to the barest minimum, any confusion that the similarities in the logo may throw up. Gladly, the strategy is working well.’
The former member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, expressed satisfaction with the progress of his campaign, which, he said, had a balance of youth and the experience.
‘The team is simply a meeting point of agility, modernity, sagacity, capacity and experience. It would be fool hardy for any person to expect anything less, bearing in mind my long duration and past positive exploits in partisan politics in Nigeria.
‘Granted that my party, ZLP, does not belong to the so-called big parties, the good news is that the 2023 general elections is fundamentally unique to the extent that the ultimate determinant for the choice of candidate to vote for by the electorates, unlike in the previous elections, is the capacity, competency, character antecedents and experience,’ Ayika said.
Noting that the electorate was much interested in the past performance, accessibility and character of the candidates, Ayika said that, having represented Njikoka 1 Constituency and Dunukofia/Njikoka/Anaocha Federal Constituency; though for a few months before, his campaign had been premised on his activities and achievements before now.
‘I am convinced that my proven track record, accessibility, philanthropy, among others, have endeared me to the electorates in my federal constituency,’ he stated.