APGA, ACD candidates give INEC ultimatum over Anambra State central rerun elections
The electorates in Anambra State central senatorial district have expressed misgivings over continuous delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the National Assembly rerun election for the district.
This arose from the cancellation of the 2015 National Assembly elections and the inability to conduct the poll since then.
Former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh and the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) candidate for the poll, Oby Kate Okafor are in the forefront of the agitation putting pressure on INEC to do the needful.
Meanwhile, ahead of the November 18 governorship election in Anambra, the South East zonal leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has inaugurated a Planning and Strategy Committee with the former governor of the old Anambra State, Dr Jim Nwobodo, as the chairman.
The party’s national vice chairman, South East zone, Dr. Emma Eneukwu, disclosed that Dr Orji Kalu, former governor of Abia State would serve as vice chairman.
Umeh and Okafor challenged the electoral umpire that out of the 80 National and State assemblies results including that of Anambra South Senatorial zone that were nullified by the various courts in the 2015 general elections, 79 had been resolved through re-run elections except the Anambra central.
While Umeh posited that Anambra Central is the only senatorial constituency without representation in the Senate, Okafor gave INEC two months ultimatum to conduct the election or be dragged to court.
She insisted that the electoral body must without further delay conduct the poll, as virtually all pending litigations hitherto hindering the electoral body seemed to have been resolved.
The ACD candidate warned that a legal action might be taken against the umpire if after two months it failed to conduct the election, pointing out that all eyes were now on INEC to speedily conduct the poll.
According to her, “I want to mandate INEC to make sure that they conduct the election. If they don’t do the poll within two months, I am going to sue them to court. I am a candidate in this election; I have wasted so much money and time for the exercise.”
She however appealed to everybody whose case might still be pending in court in respect of the election to withdraw such for the exercise to take place. I don’t know why court action should take over two years to be dispensed? I am contesting this election with everything I have and I know that I will win.”
She lamented that people from the senatorial zone had lost so much in the past two years as a result of not having a senatorial representation in terms of fund, amenities and empowerment opportunities.
Furthermore, Okafor said: “They can no longer afford to waste further time, and they want to be like their counterparts. The issue is that Anambra Central is losing. What I am seeing now is a case of sabotage, because since the election was cancelled nothing has been done. So INEC should conduct the election within two months, so that Anambra Central will have a senator.”
Meanwhile, Eneukwu listed other members of the APC committee apart from the chairman and vice chairman, as Senator Emma Agboti, who is to serve as secretary, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, Senator Nkechi Wogu, Chief Maduba Cosmas and Chief G.N. Gbazueagu.
He said “The committee is to monitor and report to the zone, the political environment in the state as well as evaluate the party’s aspirants in order to advise the zone on how best to achieve crisis free primaries.
He added that the committee would also advise the zone on best ways and means of raising resources for the election, adding that they should work towards winning the governorship election in the state.
“The primaries would follow due process as enshrined in the party’s constitution and elections modalities. We urged aspirants to play by the rules,” the APC national vice chairman said, assuring that the party would claim victory at the poll.
The meeting, which was attended by party chieftains from the South East zone, also witnessed the rousing welcome of those that decamped from APGA to the party.