17th November, 2013
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has demanded a total cancellation of Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State based on the massive disenfranchisement of people across the state, caused by the blatant incompetent and/or deliberate sabotage by the electoral commission itself.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,the party said the call for total cancellation supersedes its early call for a rerun in four local government areas,and is based on the report it received from its agents as well as from local and foreign observers during the poll.
It said that INEC, which was saddled with organizing the election, inexplicably used a voters’ register that is totally different from what it gave to political parties ahead of the election, with the result that the new register did not contain the names of most of the registered voters in the state.
Worse still, APC said, delivery of materials to the stongholds of the APC candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, was either done very late or not at all, a development that further robbed over 300,000 of his supporters in three key local governments of Idemili North, Idemili South and Awka South of their franchise.
”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.
”We discovered that INEC has set up a multi-layer arrangement to ensure that most voters in the state were disenfranchised, apparently acting out a script to manipulate the result of the election in favour of a certain candidate. Where voting materials were supplied, the commission provided wrong voters’ register.
”Coming after the charade in Delta, this is a serious development that raises questions about the ability of INEC to conduct a free, fair and transparent elections anywhere in Nigeria. It is particularly serious because if people who registered to vote are not able to do so, and even the votes of those who managed to cast them do not count, then anarchy is looming,” the party said.
It called for a probe of INEC to determine why it has taken it upon itself to sabotage its own elections, even when people are determined to endure the orchestrated inconveniences and shun all acts of violence, as was witnessed in Anambra on Saturday when people waited patiently and peacefully, only to go home in total disappointment.
”This is a new low for INEC, and unless something is done urgently, the electoral commission may plunge Nigeria into a crisis from which it may not recover,” APC warned.