How INEC can conduct free, credible polls in Imo, by groups
• Diaspora group drums support for Achonu
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) and Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) have asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to comprehensively address the flaws arising from the 2023 Presidential, National and state Assembly elections in Imo State, if it intends to deliver a free, participatory and credible governorship election in on November 11 this year.
Board Chair, Intersociety, Emeka Umeagbalasi, and South East Zonal Coordinator of CLO, Aloysius Attah, told journalists in Enugu, yesterday, that the two organisations had already addressed separate letters to the Commission on the need to avoid a repeat of the experiences of the last elections in the state to restore the confidence of the people in the electoral process.
Umeagbalasi said: “We think that the Commission should comprehensively overhaul the Imo INEC and its principal departments, including EOs, administration, Operations, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and voter education, among others.
“It should also address anomalies arising from the 2023 Presidential, National and State Assembly polls in the state, during which several INEC officers were accused of playing different indictable roles to undermine the process; to the extent that the state Assembly poll was the worst and a ‘walkover’ for candidates of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by winning 26 of the state’s 27 seats.
Intersociety also stated, in its letter, that vicariously or otherwise, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) did not stand tall to be counted and respected, owing to her poor handling of earlier 2023 polls. Therefore, he could not be trusted to organise and deliver a free, participatory and credible November 11 governorship election in the state.”
They added that many of the electoral officers in the state’s 27 councils have long overstayed the periods allowed by the INEC Establishment Act 2004 or the Electoral Act 2022, as amended, saying that allowing such practice encourages electoral corruption and related sharp practices.
MEANWHILE, ahead of the governorship election in Imo, a group, Imo Technocratic Elite in Australia, has endorsed the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Athan Achonu.
The endorsement was contained in a statement issued by the group, which was made available to journalists in Owerri, yesterday. According to the statement jointly signed by Chairman and Secretary of the group, Prof. Samson Ibekwe and Dr. Jude Nnabuikem, respectively, “Imo is in coma and requires urgent resuscitation to avoid total decimation.”
The statement said that after a careful assessment of the governorship candidates, the group, which is apolitical, settled for Achonu, considering his track records.
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