15th November, 2013
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the police of acting out the script of the PDP for Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra state by arresting election monitors from Osun State and labelling them as thugs.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the report that a ‘crack team’ of the police in Imo State had arrested 180 ‘armed hoodlums carrying fake voters cards, official identity cards of INEC and independent Observer identity cards’ is nothing but tales by the moonlight.
”Those who were arrested by the increasingly partisan police are election monitors from Osun, who are members of the Justice and Equality Organization, an INEC-accredited election monitoring NGO. With INEC having trained key officials of the accredited election monitoring NGOs, those trained are now training their members in readiness for the election. Those trained by INEC are in Owerri.
”Those whom the police have labelled as thugs are members of the Justice and Equality Organization. They are in Owerri for training ahead of the election. They chose Owerri because of its proximity to Anambra and its affordable hotel costs. None of them is a member of the APC, despite the insinuation by the police, and none is armed, because you don’t need guns to monitor elections. Any weapon exhibited by the police must have been procured by them to justify their gaffe.
”The only offence that the arrested election monitors have committed, in the eyes of the police, is that they are from a staunchly APC state with zero tolerance for the do-nothing, bumbling PDP,” it said.
Meanwhile, APC has called for extra vigilance from all Nigerians in general and the party’s members and supporters in particular, in order to thwart any attempt by the police and their collaborators to ruin Saturday’s election.
The party said the need for vigilance has been heightened by the fact that key institutions of state that should ensure a level playing ground for all parties in the election appear to have been compromised, going by the blatant partisanship
of the police and the seeming inability of INEC to prosecute electoral offenders, including Willie Obiano of APGA, who has been proven to have registered multiple times.
It implored all the APC agents for Saturday’s polls to pay particular attention to the accreditation process.
”In line with the INEC Manual for Election Officials, the number of accredited voters must be counted and announced loudly for all to hear. Also, the number of voters in the Register of Voters in each polling unit must be announced loudly. Then the number of voters in the register and the number of accredited voters must be entered in Form EC8A and/or Form EC8A (1) before voting starts.
”None of our agents should sign the result sheet without accurate numbers of voters in the register and the number of accredited voters being duly recorded in the necessary columns in the Forms,” APC warned.
For the umpteenth time, the party called on INEC to ensure that Saturday’s election is free, fair and transparent, and on the security agencies not to allow themselves to be used to hinder the right of the people to elect their own leaders, because the world will be keenly monitoring the election on Saturday.