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EDITORIAL

Anambra pre-election row: Clarion call on INEC

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THEREAFTER, some other states, building from the 2007 Supreme Court verdict on Anambra State’s governorship now have ‘off-season governorship election; a development which hitherto, was strange in Nigeria.

  MOST conspicuous institutions to blame for the confusing joggle are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the judiciary and the political parties.  But INEC owns more of the knocks.

  A LOT of cases that the ordinary man would deem frivolous and easy to address are currently charging up the land and citizens look up to INEC to point out the right way or at least, guide the courts but the umpire appears to take partisan course.

  In failing to do its duty as the umpire on electoral matters early and promptly, the arbiter, INEC tends to leave the people of Anambra at the mercy of power-hungry politicians and money-motivated advocates and juries. Another election season is here in Anambra and INEC as well as some judges are again found wanting in discharging their responsibilities to the people.

  IN THE aftermath of party primary congresses held within the last one month by the 18 political parties listed by INEC as contending entities in the November 6 election, there has been a flood of cases on the validity of the parties’ candidates and hitherto aspirants. Notable in most of the cases is that they dwell on issues that a progressive and pro-active electoral umpire that is truly independent should have nipped in the bud. Given the intensity with which the cases are rocking the state, INEC is failing Anambra masses.

  THE umpire’s action has decimated activities or lulled campaigns in all the three leading political parties in the state, namely, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Peoples Congress (APC): while there are cases picking holes in the primaries held in June… by APC, the cases in PDP after the primaries was about the party’s state leadership whereas in APGA, the matter is about the party’s national leadership. In all these, INEC is in custody of the right information which Nigeria’s law gives it exclusive rights to.

  WHY the agency opts to fail in providing the fact or act with same leaves the land in costly confusion awes and annoys many Nigerians. Explanation that the agency is bidding time to study judicial developments fails on the face of the visible rush in the list of candidates for the Anambra polls which INEC published in July 16. In the list, the agency published the name of factional candidate of APGA, Chukwuma Umeoji, which was brought to its attention less than 48hours earlier, whereas the name of Prof Soludo, which APGA submitted to INEC two weeks earlier was missed. Similarly, no name was stated for PDP.

  INEC’s action leaves Anambra people in the woods over where to go and how to go about the November 6 election. With the three leading political parties in the state quaked, it would appear that there is a not-very-hidden plot to throw up an unpopular candidate from the blues to win the election. This surely would not augur well for the populace.

  NATIONAL Light passionately appeals  to INEC, to save the people of the state the trauma by boldly and intrepidly standing by the constitutional provision and the Electoral Act and be independent as explicitly stated in its nomenclature.

  Should the election be held under the current situation, INEC could be held complicit in foisting on Anambra State an unpopular candidate which will be unfortunate and denial of democratic dividends to Anambra people.

  Anambra people would tolerate only governorship aspirants that emerged from popular mandate, whose rise to limelight clearly passed through the crucible of acceptable principles of constitutional democracy and rule of law.

  GIVEN the challenges Anambra has encountered in the current democratic era, INEC should rather help solve their problems instead of compounding it. A governor smuggled through the back door is not what the state wants. It could set the state in frenzy and flux.

  INEC should please remove the hand of the monkey in the soup now before it turns into another thing. This is the minimum expectation of ndi Anambra.

  INEC’s Social Contract with the populace of the state, of who over a ninth are not politicians, is to give them peace and acceptable elections which will ensure good governance and social development.

  ANAMBRA has passed through election trauma since 2003 going by brazen electoral manipulations by the powers from above and the dare-devilry of self-centred god-fathers. Since 2006, the devious acts of god fathers and manipulative, merchandising politicians have been curtailed in the state, leaving the land to grow and breathe fresh air.

  A RETURN of the godfathers whose acts in their hay days, drew the state far backward would be gross dis-service to the people. INEC should not allow itself to be part of the plots for nasty days to return to Anambra.

  FINALLY, it is the minimum expectation of close observers of the Anambra election that INEC spells out her template for the November 6, 2021 governorship election, and like Ceaser’s wife, strive to be beyond reproach.

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