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Anambra 2021: Parties trade words over plot to rig

•Transfer of INEC’s REC looms

 

There is a growing apprehension in Anambra among political parties that the November governorship election has already been rigged. Strengthening this apprehension is the rumour of the likely transfer of top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) including the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji.

 

It was gathered that three Resident Electoral Commissioners would be sent to Anambra to cover the three Senatorial Districts while a Central Resident Electoral Commissioner that would replace Nkwachukwu Orji would announce the final result.

 

Also some top Directors in the Commission are alleged to be on the verge of being transferred before the election, preparatory to the conduct of the exercise. Consequent upon the above, the four top political parties, All Progressives Congress (APC) All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith labour Party (ZLP) are accusing one another of plotting to manipulate the electoral process.

 

According to a release by Afam Dozie Ofomata, the Director of Publicity for the ZLP, APGA and APC have concluded plans to use external forces to influence the election.

 

The ZLP said it was “aware of clandestine plots by certain unpopular parties, particularly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the failed All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to deploy underhand tactics to manipulate the electoral process and subvert the will of the people.

 

“The party has also been aware of the desperation by the APC to use external influence to coerce and compromise the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sway the election to its favour.

 

“The ZLP therefore calls on the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to reassure Ndi Anambra on the credibility of the process.”

 

Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Political Matters, Bar Ifeatu Obiokoye, dismissed the allegation, adding that APGA has no business rigging the election in view of the fact that the achievements of the party in the last seven years speak for the party.

 

He said: “Our party has no business rigging an election that we are sure of victory and we have confidence in the Anambra electorate, who can attest to the fact that our achievements in the last seven years speak for us.

 

“We have it on good authority that some people have concluded arrangements to manipulate the election and this coming from a party that could not conduct a valid election and the party feels that Anambra is like their state in the South East and the rest of them are neck deep in this plot that is bound to fail.”

 

Director General of PDP New Media, Mr Anthony Ezike, told Sunday Telegraph that that has been the stock-in-trade of the APC and APGA, who are desperate to cause confusion and use it to rig the election.

 

He said: “Anambra people are not fools and they know what these two political parties are planning and our people will resist such plans and we in the PDP would support our people to checkmate the plot to subvert the wishes and aspirations of Anambra people.

 

State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Okelo Madukife, contended that the other political parties were afraid of the rising profile of the party, adding that the parties feel highly intimidated by the change in the tide of Anambra politics, hence they are raising the alarm of a plot to rig the election.

 

“We do not want to be distracted by the kitchen noise of parties that have lost the support of Anambra electorate. “We are more concerned about bringing populist leadership to Anambra State and not kitchen noise of parties that have lost the confidence of Anambra electorate.”

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