INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega
Urges National Assembly to intervene
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over alleged plans by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to influence the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to field members of the ruling party as observes being part of alleged moves to rig the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State.
APC, therefore, called on the National Assembly to take an interest in the development by questioning INEC to explain the reason it is fielding PDP members in Anambra State as election observers.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC however expressed concern on the ability of INEC to organise a credible election in Anambra "going by recent developments."
The party said its worry stemmed from the fact that some top officials in INEC who have been listed to oversee the election are card-carrying members of the PDP, and that if such should happen; it would compromise their role as unbiased umpires.
The APC gave the names of the INEC officials as Mr. Lawrence Nwuruku, the National Commissioner of INEC in charge of the South-east, and Mrs. Gladys Nwafor, the second INEC Commissioner from the South-east.
''Mr. Nwuruku was the Chairman of the PDP in Ebonyi State, while Mrs. Nwafor had worked closely with the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, as a grassroots mobiliser. These officials cannot, in all honesty, be expected to be unbiased, because they have been compromised by their antecedents.
''If INEC indeed has any hope of organising a free, fair and transparent election in Anambra on November 16, it must immediately shelve the plan to send these highly-partisan and heavily-compromised officials to supervise the election. Any action short of that will open INEC to accusations of bias- which is not what any umpire wants,'' APC said.
The party also said some actions taken by INEC in recent times have called to question, its ability to stay above the fray as far as the Anambra election is concerned.
''For example, the voters' register for Anambra in 2011 had 2.1 million names, which came down to 1.8 million after a review. However, despite continuous registration by INEC, the names came down to 1.7 million! This kind of chicanery is only possible under a circumstance in which deliberate efforts are being made to depopulate the voters in areas where the opposition has an edge.
''We are therefore left with no choice than to call on the National Assembly to seek explanations from INEC on the hanky-panky. This is necessary to ensure that the election is not rigged by the same body saddled with ensuring that it is transparently organised,'' it said.
APC explained that it is closely monitoring all the processes leading to the election, since the success of any poll is not limited to actions taken on the election day alone, with a view to ensuring that no candidate is short-changed by the very body that has the responsibility to ensure a level-playing field for all.