Group Tasks INEC, Politicians on Anambra Guber ElectionAnambra Election, Featured, Femi Kehinde Monday, November 11th, 2013
By Eric Ojo
Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) has urged the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to ensure fairness and transparency in the conduct of the November 16 Gubernatorial election in Anambra.
The Centre said INEC should to demonstrate the courage and uprightness that will win them more legitimate support of all Nigerians through their conduct of Anambra election and that it should treat all parties, contestants, voters and observers according to the prescription of the electoral law.
The group however expressed confidence in the commission, noting that the Atahiru Jega-led administration has improved the image of INEC remarkably.
“We have the utmost hope that the Professor Jega- led INEC, which has shown serious sign of improvement above the previous leadership, will not disappoint Nigerians who have high hopes on the Commission at this moment. One of the ways to retain this high hopes is to ensure high degree of transparency in its conduct of the Anambra Guber election, the centre said in a statement issued on Monday.
The group also stated that INEC must ensure that , justice should not only be done to all by during this gubernatorial election, but must be seen to have been done to all by the Commission.
The centre equally charged all contestants to abide by the rules and avoid electoral malpractices, and shenanigans, adding that they should legitimately seek peoples vote without deceit, intimidation, violence or cheating in any form.
“To all contestants, we plead with them to avoid setting our beloved Anambra on fire again. They should legitimately seek peoples vote without deceit, intimidation, violence or cheating. It is an election that only one person will win, therefore it should not be a do or die affair. In the past and according to media reports, politicians in Nigeria illegally arm their supporters with small arms and light weapons thereby increasing the quantity of illegal arms which causes serious insecurity after each election.
“We are calling on contestants in this election to avoid an act that will lay a foundation that will destroy the society they aspire to govern, by buying, indulging or supporting the use of arms in any form during this election.
“We also call on the police and other law enforcement agents to be very vigilant and ensure that armed violence during Anambra 2013 gubernatorial elections remains at zero levels. Past elections, which have been a do or die affair did not bring good image to Anambra, therefore, we reject any act that will not bring glory to Ndi Anambra and indeed Ndigbo. CCIDESOR supports total free and fair election in Anambra on 16th November, 2013”, the group added.
The centre further called on the on citizens and residents of Anambra state to show high sense of maturity and respect to the political rights of all citizens during the already tensed election. The group also urged every eligible voter to come out en-mass to exercise their fundamental right of franchise.
“We wish to remind Ndi Anambra and residents that November 2013 is not just a day to elect a new governor, but a day Ndi Anambra decides their economic fortunes in the next four years. It is a day Ndi Anambra will decide who their state resources will be used in the next four years. Let it be clear to all that election is no longer a mere political exercise of voting into power who rules, but a moment of deeply rooted economic decision of citizens because the winner will be entrusted with the commonwealth of Ndi Anambra in the next four years.
“Therefore, voters should ensure that they vote wisely without preventing other eligible voters, no matter their political persuasion, from inalienable rights to participate in selecting who rules them. The main concern of every stakeholder now is to ensure that the popular will of the majority of Ndi Anambra prevails during the election irrespective of who among the contestants will be the winner. If this is done, Ndi Anambra would have inadvertently laid a solid foundation for subsequent credible elections in the southeast come 2015 and beyond.
“Election into the position of the state governor has direct and organic link with how the resources of the state, the factors of production and other economic agents in Anambra will perform in the next four years. Therefore citizens should be analysis the contestants in other to make a wise election decision. This call is being made because anything that affects Ndi Anambra directly affects the entire southeast and Nigeria at large. Ndi Anambra should again demonstrate high degree of maturity in selecting the person that will govern them in the next four years.
“The only way to do that is for citizens to ensure that they cast their vote while maintaining peaceful atmosphere that will encourage their eligible brothers and sisters to cast their votes as well. Ndi Anambra must use this election to demonstrate to Nigerians that in terms of democracy, the southeast has gone poles ahead of other regions. They should strive to ensure that every vote counts, avoid violence, mischief, misleading propaganda and casting of fear in the minds of voters that has led to low turnout in past elections in Anambra state”, they stressed.
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