© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Anambra Holds Flawed Governorship Election
The Anambra gubernatorial election was held Saturday amid late or non arrival of election materials and allegations of vote rigging.
Election materials arrived early in some polling units but arrived very late in others delaying accreditation and voting.
The major complaint was the inability of registered voters to find their names in the register, which automatically disqualified them from voting.
Tony Nwoye, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was among those whose names were declared missing from the voters’ register at his Offia-nta ward in Nsugbe.
Also missing from the register were the names of his father and uncle.
Also, voters in Akabo Ward 3 in Nnewichi of Nnewi Local Government Area, experienced similar situation as names with alphabets `K to O’ were also missing from the voters’ register.
Nwoye said he was disappointed that his name was missing in the same unit where he voted in 2011.
“I am disappointed at the turn of events here. I was here as early as 8 a.m. to be accredited with my father and uncle, but found out that our names were missing in the INEC register,” he said.
Security was beefed in all parts of the state. A combined team of the police, State Security Service, SSS, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, mounted surveillance on ground and in the air to ensure that the election was hitch free.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Nasir El-Rufai, was prevented from moving out of his hotel room in Finotel Hotel to monitor the election.
The director of the State Security Service, SSS in the state, A.U. Okeiyi, said the move was to protect him from potential harm.
“El-Rufai is not an ordinary person. If anything happens to him, they will blame the security,” he said.
However, El-Rufai, who was uncomfortable with the detention told the three heavily armed SSS officials guarding him that he did not need their unsolicited service to ensure his security.
“I asked them why they were following me; they told me that they were protecting me because Awka is not safe. I told them that I came with my own security,” the former minister said.
Counting is in progress and results are being collated ahead of Sunday when they are expected to be announced.
The election was postponed in Obosi owing to the late arrival of sensitive materials. The election for this ward will now hold on Sunday, with accreditation scheduled to commence at 8:00am and voting at 12:00pm.
In his reaction to the conduct of the election, candidate of the Labour Party, Ifeanyi Ubah, said in his Otolo Nnewi Ward 1 that he had no reason to fault the election until the results were released.
Ngige said the voters’ register given to the parties by INEC before the election is not the same used in the election proper as some names were missing, adding that in areas considered to be his stronghold, voting materials were brought without result sheets.
He also said that in his ward in Alor community and other communities in Idemili North and Idemili South, accreditation was delayed to disenfranchise the People.
There are already indications that the result of the election might be contentious as the Apc has said that it will not accept the results if voting does not take place in all local governments, especially in the party’s strongholds of Idemili North and South as well as Akwa South.
The party, in a statement issued by its interim national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, alleged that logistic problems were deliberately contrived by INEC to deny thousands the opportunity to vote and demanded the immediate removal of the resident electoral commission.
The APC also expressed dismay that “materials meant for Idemili North Local Government, which has 180,000 voters, have been hijacked, without saying who hijacked the ballot papers and why, and without explaining why the materials meant for APGA and PDP strongholds were not hijacked.”