CENTRE FOR CIVIC EDUCATION
(a.k.a Transition Monitoring Group)
No 5, Abdurrahman Mora Street, Kado Estate, Abuja – Nigeria
P. O. Box 11312 Garki-Abuja. Tel: 234-07025403819, 08140439415
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NOVEMBER 29, 2013
ANAMBRA STATE PRE-SUPPLEMENTARY ELECTION: THE FACTS AS THEY ARE AND A CALL FOR JUSTICE, TRANSPARENCY AND PEACE
The public has continued to evaluate the November 16, 2013 Anambra State Gubernatorial Election, which was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), following serious lapses and acknowledged irregularities by INEC in some 212 Polling units, cutting across 16 LGAs of the State. As a result, a Supplementary Election in the affected areas has now been scheduled for Saturday, November 30, 2013 by INEC.
While TMG noted the obvious issues and documented irregularities observed during the Election, and criticisms and name callings that have followed it, TMG with its Quick Count Methodology went beyond blanket criticisms or perceived failings, inadequacies or excesses of INEC to the real issues. Hence, TMG identified where INEC erred, where its Officials seemed to have compromised, and where they appeared to have met expectations
Although, the Election successfully took place across 4,333 Polling Units out of the State’s 4,608 Polling Units; Voters in 65 Polling Units of Obosi Ward 7 were unable to vote due to late arrival of Materials and other associated glitches. As a result, they voted the next day, Sunday, November 17, 2013. However, the Election in the remaining 21 Polling Units spread across 16 LGAs with a potential 113,113 Voters was cancelled because of alleged irregularities and complicity of certain INEC Official(s).
It is against this backdrop that INEC declared the Election inconclusive and subsequently announced a Supplementary Election for Saturday, November 30, 2013. Most of the affected areas in which the Supplementary Election will take place are in 160 Polling Units of Idemili North LGA with some 90,000 Voters, namely: Abatete, 33 Polling Units; Ideani, 8 Polling Units; Nkpor 1, 16 Polling Units; Nkpor 2, 40 Polling Units; Ogidi 1, 28 Polling Units; Ogidi 2, 23 Polling Units; Uke, 3 Polling Units; and Umuoji, 9 Polling Units. The rest Polling Units with some reported 23,133 Voters are spread across 15 LGAs.
As TMG prepares to observe the Supplementary Election in Anambra State, we strongly feel the pains, disappointments and betrayals suffered by the good people of Anambra State. TMG is strongly persuaded that it is not so much about the Independent National Electoral Commission or its leadership in Abuja; it is about the pervading systemic failure across the nation. While aggrieved Political Parties and their Candidates may have genuine reasons to boycott the Supplementary Elections, TMG would however ask them not to succumb by quitting but to rather give it their all and fight to the end; all aggrieved Political Parties and Candidates must not forget in a hurry how the incumbent Governor of Anambra State was deprived of his Electoral Victory and Mandate for several years, but he remained resolute and fought his case through the Courts to secure his legitimate Mandate. By the same token, we urge the aggrieved Political Parties and Candidates to toe the same line if at the end of the day; justice seems not to have been done in this historical Election.
In addition, it is critically important to review again the preparations made by INEC on the Anambra Elections. We are of the view that INEC was not adequately prepared; an Election that disenfranchises eligible Voters cannot be said to have met the minimum acceptable standard globally.
TMG equally believes that INEC is not the only culpable body in all of these; all Stakeholders must share in the blame. As we have earlier stated, TMG will again use its tested Quick Count Methodology to observe and monitor the Supplementary Election; and we are confident that we will be able to verify the authenticity of the outcome or results of the Supplementary Election that will be declared by INEC.
Going forward, TMG calls on the good people of Anambra State in particular and Nigerians in general to keep hope alive, and not to despair. We encourage Anambrarians not to lose faith in the Electoral Process and to come out massively to vote and complete this exercise.
We call on the government to consider revisiting without delay the Justice Uwais led Electoral Reform Committee Report with a view to implementing all the salient propositions for until that is fully implemented, our Electoral Process and indeed our democracy will continue to experience these issues.
INEC must also make sure that all indicted or arrested Electoral Offenders are brought to justice to deter others.
In particular, INEC must ensure that the mistakes inherent in the November 16, 2013 Gubernatorial Election in Anambra State are not repeated. INEC must see to it that the following are strictly adhered to:
- Searchlight must be beamed on the five critical Wards of Idemili North LGA in which TMG’s sampled Polling Units observed that there were no Elections, namely: Abatete, Nkpor 1, Nkpor II, Obosi and Ogidi 1
- Questionable Characters or Officials are not part of the Supplementary Election
- Materials are delivered on time to the Polling Units
- Voters are accredited on time, and allowed to vote on time with due regards to the allotted start-time of voting
- Voters with genuine Voters Card are not denied accreditation
- Illegal voting due to simultaneous accreditation and voting are not allowed
- No willful disenfranchisement of duly registered Voters
- And in future Elections, particularly in the coming Ekiti and Osun States Gubernatorial Elections in 2014, and the General Elections in 2015; actual copies of the Electronic Voters Register are made available to all Political Parties and Civic Organisations, particularly Observer Groups to minimise fraud, insinuations and conspiracy theories.
TMG is also aware that there have been reported calls for violence, and threats to destabilise Anambra State and plunge it into an orgy of mayhem. To this end, we ask the Police and all Security Agencies to be on alert, be alive to their responsibilities, maintain the peace and forestall any breakdown of law and order. The Police and other Security Agencies must also understand that their responsibility and ultimate loyalty is to the people and not to any self-serving politician or Government functionary; therefore they must carry out their responsibilities in most civil, orderly and responsibly manner; and must do away with the inglorious era of colluding with politicians and other Government functionaries against the people. We equally call on all perpetrators and purveyors of violence to desist from such actions and work towards peace and stability in Anambra State so that there can be free, fair and credible Election that will result in a smooth transition in the State; The Anambra State people and indeed the entire nation must understand nothing can be achieved in an atmosphere of violence and lawlessness; we must all therefore work together for peace in our land.
Thank you, God bless Anambra State and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Comrade Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi Chief Eddy Ezurike
Chairman Publicity Secretary
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