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Use Supplementary Election to Restore Your Lost Credibility -Group Tells INEC

INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

A socio cultural organisation under the aegis of Nzuko Imeobi Association of Idemili North and South local Government area of Anambra state has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure that the Saturday’s supplementary election in the state is devoid of all forms of electoral malpractices.

Prof. JegaAccording to the group, it is only when the electorates are allowed to vote and their votes count, that one could say that an election is credible, just as it advises the electoral body to use the Saturday’s exercise to restore its lost credibility.

In a statement signed by leader of the association, High Chief Obiora Okonkwo, and made available to African Examiner in Enugu Thursday, the group, regretted that the November 16th governorship poll was inconclusive.

The statement read in parts: “We leaders of the socio cultural organization, Nzuko Imeobi Association of Idemili North and Idemili South Local Government Areas in Anambra State, hereby, state categorically that the only way that the entire 2013 Governorship election in Anambra State will be credible is if the people are allowed to vote and their votes counted”.

“It is in this realization that we call on the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the political parties and their supporters to ensure that the circumstances which led to the disfranchisement of over 100,000 voters in over 160 polling units in the two councils do not occur again during the Saturday November 30, supplementary elections”.

The group said, “Although we are saddened by this massive cancellation and implied disenfranchisement of the people of the two local councils, we were not surprised by it.

“Ahead of the November 16 governorship election, we made the point that the two local governments – Idemili North and Idemili South – will hold the key to the election. We made that statement with all sense of responsibility following our understanding of the historical antecedents in our state.

“But we didn’t anticipate that the desperate fight for our bloc votes will degenerate to a situation where an INEC staff will be compromised and unscrupulous as well as out-of-favour politicians would disrupt the conduct of the elections.

“Such was the certainty of victory that the bloc votes of the two councils offer to candidates.

“With the election almost won and lost, we implore Idemili people to shame all those who tried to disenfranchise them and take this second chance of a supplementary election to make a statement with their votes.

“We also demand of INEC the highest possible ethical conduct of its staff, ad hoc or regular. This is an opportunity for the commission to restore some credibility as its initial conduct has cast doubts about its ability to conduct a credible election in 2015.

“We in Idemili North and South are proud of our electoral heritage and conduct and would ensure that the electoral awareness and education that entrenched in the democratic culture, which has guided us through in picking only credible candidates, will not be dimmed by the present circumstances” it stated.

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