NO fewer than 1,000 Anambra youths under the auspices of Coalition of Anambra Youth Assembly have protested against any acts of rigging or violence during the November 18, Governorship Election in Anambra.
The youths who carried placards, marched to various places including the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Awka to register their aversion over alleged discovery of electoral materials in a certain hotel in Awka.
Ogoo Egolum, leader of the group, said Anambra youths want existing peace in the state to remain, with no acts of criminality.
He called on INEC and security agencies to do the needful to ensure that `unscrupulous elements did not hijack the election’ and called on youths to be vigilant during the polls.
Responding, Nkwachukwu Orji, resident electoral commissioner INEC, Anambra State, re-assured the people of credible, free and fair election on the Nov. 18 that would be acceptable to the generality of Ndi Anambra.
He debunked rumours of police interception of two lorry loads of sensitive materials meant for the election in an undisclosed hotel, saying the sensitive materials had yet to arrive in Awka and could not have been delivered to a hotel room.
According to him, there are laid down processes for delivery of sensitive election materials, which involve strict monitoring of the process by party agents, election observers, security agencies and the media.
Orji who was represented by Leo Ikedife, head of Department, Voter Education and Publicity, stressed that the materials allegedly found in a hotel room in Awka did not belong to the Commission.
On the alleged printing of the Register of Voters, Section 20 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides, “INEC shall publish the Register of Voters not later than 30 days before an election’’.
“It is customary for the Commission to provide the Register to political parties presenting candidates for an election.
“This was done in a widely publicised event in Awka on 18 October, 2017 during which all the parties present collected the electronic register.’’
However, “it is pertinent to note that the Register given to political parties by INEC does not have the same details as the one used for elections.
“Indeed, several fields and security features are not included in the Register given to political parties,” Orji added.
While maintaining INEC has not received official report on the allegation, REC observed that upon close scrutiny, what the Police recovered appeared to have been printed from the electronic Register given to the political parties, and not the official Register of Voters for the Governorship election.
He reassured the public that the Commission would continue to be transparent in its processes and appealed to all stakeholders to confirm their information before going to the press, so not to undermine the peace so far prevailing in Anambra State ahead of the election.
“The Commission also wishes to re-state its determination and commitment toward ensuring that the 18 NovemberAnambra State Governorship election is free, fair and credible.
“I solicit the cooperation of the people of the state in this regard,” Orji pointed
He said that the sensitive materials would arrive at Central Bank of Nigeria branch, Awka from where it would be conveyed to different places for the election.
– Nov 9, 2017 @ 17:48 GMT |