By SundiataPOST, Abuja
The African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) have supported the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary gubernatorial election in Anambra.
Chief Okey Nwosu, the National Chairman of the ADC, and Dr Boniface Aniebonam, the NNPP’s National Chairman, made their stance known in separate telephone interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, had in a broadcast on Nov. 22, 2013, said that the commission would conduct a supplementary election on Nov. 30, in the local governments where there were lapses.
He noted that in spite of the lapses the Anambra election, which took place on Nov. 16, it was one of the best which it had ever conducted.
Nwosu described the controversies surrounding the election as “deliberate propaganda to undermine the commission’’.
“I am from Anambra and I monitored the election. It is one of the best I have seen in Nigeria.
“It was smooth, calm and peaceful despite a few challenges masterminded by some politicians.’’
He added: “The Anambra governorship election was reasonably free and fair, and the result, though inconclusive, is credible.
“My candidate may have lost, but whoever wins will be congratulated by the ADC.’’
Nwosu urged the other political parties to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and work with whoever emerged winner to uplift Anambra.
Aniebonam said: “The planned supplementary election is okay and results that have been announced must be sustained.’’
According to him, INEC needs support to work effectively.
“INEC puts the structures on ground but if some officials decide to be corrupt, one cannot blame Jega because human beings are unpredictable,’’ Aniebonam said.
He said that there was no justification to call for Jega’s resignation, adding that rather the stakeholders must support the commission to perform optimally.
“We as a people must learn to respect the rules of engagement. If we desire a free and fair election, then we must ensure that we play fair.’’
Aniebonam alleged that some of the law enforcement agents who participated in the election “witnessed the sharing of money to voters at polling units and made no arrest’’.
The chairman urged INEC to evolve a more efficient method to allocate grants to political parties to ensure fair play and reduce the opportunity for money bags to hijack the political space.
The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a domestic observer, said that INEC should be blamed for “failing to expose saboteurs’’ of the Anambra State election.
Its Chairman, Zikirulahi Ibrahim, said that although a supplementary election was necessary, the group’s 600 observers deployed for the Anambra election presented a fair report.
“However, we feel the supplementary election must be conducted in all the affected areas,’’ Ibrahim said.