David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Ahead of Saturday’s Anambra State governorship election, the Nigerian Senate has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure transparency and credibility in the conduct of the election.
The Senate Committee on INEC who visited the state warned the Commission against conducting an inconclusive election.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Suleiman Nazif who spoke when he led other members of the Committee including Senators Mao Ohuabunwa and Aliu Sabi to a meeting with INEC officials, chairmen and secretaries of various political parties at the INEC headquarters in Awka said, “I want the leadership of INEC to ensure that Anambra governorship election is conclusive, free, fair and credible.”
He said this was necessary because the credibility of the Anambra governorship election would serve as litmus test for the 2019 general elections, urging INEC to ensure level playing ground for all the political parties contesting the poll.
Nazif said the members were in the state to find out the challenges of INEC in respect to Saturday’s election and to put heads together with them towards proffering solutions to any problem they may encounter in the election.
Appealing to the gladiators in the election to ensure peace, Nazif further said, “The Commission should be neutral so that the outcome of the election is acceptable to all and all the political gladiators in the election should allow peace to reign during and after the election.”
The Senate Committee boss also appealed to politicians not to see the election as “do-or-die affair,” stressing that their conduct and utterances before, during and after the poll should be guided by democratic principles.
Assuring the people of Anambra State that the governorship election would hold as scheduled notwithstanding some insinuations in some quarters that it would not, the Senator called on the electorate to go out en mass and cast their votes for their preferred candidate and urged them not to engage in any action that would put them into trouble.
He urged security operatives to ensure peaceful atmosphere during and after the election, adding that their presence was important to the successful outcome of the poll.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, in the state Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji observed that the state was second in the country in terms of the collection of permanent voter’s cards, stressing that the collection of the cards would end on the 15th of this month.
He said the Commission would be deploying one card reader machine per voting point and field technical officers who would handle any challenges arising from the malfunctioning of the card readers.
Orji also reiterated the commitment of the Commission to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable election to the people of the state.