LP candidate still with abductors 11 days to election Chuks Okocha in Abuja and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Ahead of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tuesday, said it had discovered 62,698 multiple registration of voters.
A statement by INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Information and Publicity andChairman, Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said, “After a thorough cleaning up of the data, it was discovered that the number of multiple registrants was 62,698.
“Consequently, the number of valid registrants dropped to 76,104. During the same period, there were 5,674 requests for transfers, update of voter information and replacement of lost or damaged cards, giving a cumulative total of 81,778 PVCs. These cards have been printed and will be delivered to our office in Anambra State on Thursday 28th October 2021,” Okoye said.
Meanwhile, 11 days to the Anambra election, candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Obiora Agbasimalo, who was kidnapped some days ago has remained in the den of his Abductors.
But Okoye, while giving an update on the preparation for the election, said the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra State and his staff would work out the most efficient means of ensuring that the voters concerned collected their PVCs in earnest.
Fortunately, he said the Commission has the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of all the new registrants, adding that they would be contacted to make the collection seamless.
On the collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) by new registrants, Okoye said, “In our previous update, the commission informed the public that a total of 138,802 Nigerians completed the registration in Anambra State.”
The Commission assured the people of Anambra of its determination to proceed with the election and appealed to all the stakeholders and citizens in the state to cooperate with the commission for a successful exercise.
However, Agbasimalo, was kidnapped on September 18, on his way from Ezinifitte Nnewi South Local Government Area to Azhia in Ihiala Local Government Area, while on campaign.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Awka, National Organising Secretary of Labour Party, Mr.Clement Ojukwu and a member of the Labour Party campaign council, Mr Stanley Okoli,said the abduction of their candidate had political undertone, and was not unconnected to his popularity and chances in the forthcoming election.
Ojukwu, who addressed journalists said, “Our candidate has not appeared since he was abducted on 18th September 2021. He was abducted alongside his security on his way from Ezinifitte to Azhia in Ihiala, where he was going for campaign. He was also kidnapped alongside his security aide.
“Since after his abduction, he has not appeared anywhere and his abductors have always spoken to us to assure us that he is alive and we believe he will be out soon.”
Asked what the kidnappers had demanded, and if money was a hindrance to his release, Ojukwu said, “What we discuss with them and what they tell us is like what a man and a woman discuss in the bedroom, because it is secret. We always discuss with them to ensure our candidate is alive, and they let us speak with him.
“His abduction is political. He was in the banking sector and no one has ever thought of abducting him, but since he started vying for the governorship seat of Anambra, they now targeted and abducted him. He is very popular and his chances are very clear, so his opponents are not happy.”
On weather he could win the election even in captivity, he said, “This is not the first time this is happening. People have been in prison and won election. You remember Omisore, you remember T.A Orji? We believe that he will win the election.
“We do not need sympathy vote to be able to win the election, he is popular and deserves to win. Besides, he is not the only one abducted, his security too, and the police force headquarters and the DSS are on it, and we believe he will be out soon.”
The party also denied media reports that it had concluded arrangements to collapse its structure into that of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the intention to adopt Mr.Valentine Ozigbo as its candidate for the election.