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Post-Anambra poll: TMG advocates better elections, lauds Ebenebe women

By Innocent Anoruo (Lagos), Collins Olayinka, Kanayo Umeh (Abuja), Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri), Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia), Nnamdi Akpa (Abakaliki), Oluwaseun Akingboye (Akure) and Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan)
12 November 2021   |   4:05 am
Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has called for better electoral conduct and improvement on election equipment, especially the Biometric Voters Accreditation System (BVAS).

An electoral officer tries to use biometric tablet to record facial recognition of a voter at a polling station during the Anambra State governorship election at Isuofia, Aguata district in southeast Nigeria, on November 6, 2021. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

• UK, Ihedioha, Southern govs, others hail Soludo’s victory
• Peace committee charges governor-elect on magnanimity

Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has called for better electoral conduct and improvement on election equipment, especially the Biometric Voters Accreditation System (BVAS).

In a statement made available to The Guardian, yesterday, on the successful conduct of the Anambra State gubernatorial election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the civil society election observation organisation urged the leadership of the security agencies to investigate and prosecute all operatives, who engaged in violation of human rights and gross misconduct during the election.

Chairman of TMG, Auwal Rafsanjani, noted that the pre-election season, which witnessed a lot of violence that marred campaign rallies, eventually led to low voter turn-out, which he described as bad omen for democracy.

Similarly, the Vice Chair of TMG, Mrs. Miriam Menkiti, lamented the poor functioning of the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation Machine (BVAM) and INEC’s Smart Card Readers (SCR), which frustrated voters.

Observing that vote-buying was brisk business during the poll, the TMG boss, however, commended residents of Ebenebe Community in Awka North, particularly women, for publicly resisting vote-buying in their polling unit, urging Nigerians to emulate “the sterling example demonstrated by these heroines of the election.”

MEANWHILE, accolades have continued to pour in for the victory of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) at the poll.

Congratulating the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor as Anambra governor-elect, the United Kingdom (UK) said the people of Anambra demonstrated resilience and commitment to democracy.

The British Embassy in Nigeria stated in Abuja, yesterday, that the results released by INEC were consistent with the results obtained through the civil society Parallel Vote Tabulation process carried out by Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Africa.

IMMEDIATE past Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has described the election of Soludo as a triumph of resilience and democracy.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain stated, yesterday: “It is with gladness that I profoundly felicitate with my brother, Soludo, on his hard-earned victory.

“In the same vein, I salute the doggedness of Valentine Ozigbo, candidate of PDP, who, despite daunting challenges and distractions, led our party formidably.”

FELICITATING with Soludo, Southern States Governors’ Forum (SSGF) urged him to bring his expertise to bear on Anambra’s economic recovery.

The Chairman, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, commended Anambra people for trooping out to exercise their franchise despite the security challenges that pervaded the state over time.

South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF), especially, described the election outcome as the wish of Anambra people.

Personally, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia expressed joy for leading the PDP on a good outing, where its candidate, Ozigbo, came second.

But APGA in Abia has described Soludo’s victory as a sign that it would also win the state in 2023.

The Chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, while addressing a press conference, yesterday, in Umuahia, commended Anambra people for voting massively for APGA.

ALSO, rejoicing with Soludo, APGA National Vice Chairman (South West), Segun Olalere, stated, in Ibadan, that the feat was a reward for the vigorous campaign embarked upon by the APGA candidate and his running mate across the length and breadth of the state.

HOWEVER, the National Peace Committee (NPC) has called on Soludo to be magnanimous in victory and live up to the democratic ideals for which he was elected.

The Chairman, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), stated, yesterday, in Abuja: “We thank the political parties and their candidates for yielding to the call for a peaceful election in Anambra. In the same vein, we thank the political stakeholders, who participated in the election for giving peace a chance.”