Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Ahead of tomorrowâ€™s Anambra governorship election, the United Progressive Party (UPP) has said that any attempt by anybody, party or agency of government to rig the electoral process in any form whatsoever, will result in very dire consequences
The party said that the caution has become necessary because of sinister plots by the All Progressives Congress
(APC), to use compromised security and INEC officials to subvert the will of the people and rig in their candidate, who has been boasting that his party has the powers to â€œcaptureâ€ Anambra state at all cost.
In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Ogbuehi Dike, the party alleged that there has been series of clashes arising from meetings between APC and officials of the electoral body.
The UPP statement reads: â€œWe know of clandestine meetings between this party and compromised officials to manipulate the process, all in the failed bid to stop Igbos in Anambra state from electing a government that best represents their interest as presently embodied in the UPP, the only pan-Igbo party in the race.
â€œFurthermore, the curious and indefensible decision of INEC to halt the electronic transmission of results from polling units as it had earlier committed to is of great concern to us. The decision to continue with the outdated, archaic and cumbersome manual transmission of result from poll unit to ward collation centers is unacceptableâ€.
UPP said that the excuses proffered by INEC for not deploying the electronic result tracking device are puerile and to say the least,â€disingenuousâ€.
â€œHaving failed in their several attempts to shut us up through blackmails and threats; having also failed to coerce or buy the people, and knowing that APGA and PDP are no obstacles, the APC has been fixated on the UPP, realizing that it is going to be the inevitable winner.
â€œIt is clear that the fixation against the UPP is because of our
partyâ€™s iron-cast affinity with ndi Anambra, deriving from our firm stand on pro-people ideology of self-determination, referendum and social justice; issues at the very core of the sensibility of the people and for which they are ready to vote.
â€œWe therefore want all those conniving in the plot to rig the election to understand that Anambra is a core Igbo state, and the people are passionate about this election. They are resolute to use the election to genuinely restore the Igbo voice and demonstrate their determination for self-affirmation.
â€œThe only way out is for INEC to respect the sensibilities of the Igbos, by ensuring a credible election where all votes count and where the will of the people is absolutely preserved. Anything short of that will have very serious repercussions.
â€œWe issue this caution because anybody who knows the support base of our great party, would know that it has its eyes and ears everywhere; that the people are not cowed; but ready to come out enmasse to vote and to defend their votes within the law,â€ it said.
UPP urged the people of Anambra not to despair but continue to be alert, law-abiding and calm as no force, no matter how highly placed, can take away our collective victory come Saturday.