Group questions INEC’s sincerity to conduct free, fair election

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A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Save Anambra Group (SAG), has said it is not convinced that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct a free and fair governorship election in Anambra State on November 6.

It alleged that INEC had given tacit encouragement to individuals and groups in the crisis brewing among aspirants in the parties.In a statement yesterday in Awka, SAG National Coordinator Dr. Okwuoma Okeke said the body had watched in consternation, the unfolding drama surrounding the acceptance of candidates for the Anambra governorship election.The statement alleged that INEC had not shown enough independence in its conduct so far, with regard to equal standard in the acceptance of party candidates, beginning with its hurried recognition of some candidates and rejection of others.

“How can any person not see the obvious attempt to whittle down the strength of some parties by denying their candidates recognition?“Why the hurried acceptance of a court judgment from Birnin Kudu, yet dithering to accept vacation of the same by a superior court? Okeke asked.Said he: “It’s no longer a secret that INEC is playing to the script of some external forces bent on foisting an unpopular party and candidate on the people of Anambra State.

“How do we explain the latest judicial witch-hunt of an alleged suit instituted against ‘unpublished candidates’ of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) based on private submissions to INEC?

“How did the individuals gain access to the documents and what is their locus on the issue of the content of a form filled and submitted to the umpire?“Why is INEC aiding and abetting subterfuge by a desperate candidate bent on excluding others, to have a free ride to the Anambra Government House?

“We use this medium to implore President Muhammadu Buhari to call on INEC officials to live up to its ‘independence’ in the Anambra governorship election.

“We advise the judiciary to maintain its independence and avoid being drawn in by mercantile politicians, who can lure them, only to be ridiculed by the truth.“Ndi Anambra and indeed men of goodwill are watching with keen interest and will not allow the will of the people to be trampled on.”

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