by Akintomiwa Agbaje
The debate on the outcome of governorship election that held in Anambra state about a week ago continues to fester.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had announced November 30 for the supplementary elections in Idemili North so as to effectively bring to closure the election which was declared inconclusive.
The interim National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Lai Mohammed, in an interview with Vanguard insisted on the cancellation of the election saying it is “remains irredeemably defective”.
Read the excerpts below:
The governorship election in Anambra State has come and gone…
It has not gone.
Okay it is still ongoing but while some are calling for outright cancellation of the election, INEC has vowed to go ahead with a supplementary election. What happens if it goes ahead with the supplementary poll?
There are many options to be explored and such options will be discussed at the NEC meeting of the party. But what does INEC mean by supplementary election? The November 16 governorship election in Anambra State is irredeemably defective. We do not understand what INEC means by supplementary election. It is defective to the point that it cannot be redeemed either by a supplementary election or by election being conducted in isolated wards.
There are two reasons the November 16 election is irredeemable. One is that the strong holds of the opposition were denied voting materials. And this is a clear case of not just disenfranchisement but there was sabotage as admitted by even the National Chairman of INEC. He said a senior official of INEC sabotaged the electoral process.
We also have it on good authority that the voter register has been so tampered with that anybody whose names start with O or U could not find his names in the register.
With these, you cannot start talking about a supplementary election. It is like somebody putting a potion of poison in a bucket of water. Are you now saying that you can save part of that water? You have to throw the whole thing away. So, I do not know what they mean by supplementary election. As for Anambra, it has to be fresh election or nothing and, beyond that, Nigerians want to know the name of that INEC official, his position and how he was able to sabotage the election.
Nigerians want to know who he was working for? This matter must not be swept under the carpet. If it is allowed to be swept under the carpet, it will lead to an explosion which is better imagined. We hear from the grapevine that he is working for a particular state governor and that a lot of money has been uncovered and traced to his account. He also indicted a particular state governor.
And you think INEC will mention the official’s name?
This is now in the open and people are seriously concerned. Because what is done is not just sabotage, it is treason and this could lead to violent reactions on the part of people. Of course, Nigerians have a right to know and INEC has the obligation to tell us the name of this man and how far did he sabotage the election.
If they can do it in Anambra, it can be done in Ekiti, Osun and everywhere. So. the problem is much more fundamental than that. Again, it raises the issue of credibility of the register we have because if one person can so tamper with the register, to exclude names starting with certain alphabets, all needed to be done is just come to Osun or Ekiti and remove some names from the register.
So, this problem is very fundamental, we cannot start talking about supplementary elections; as a matter of fact, we should stop talking about Anambra now, we should start talking about the integrity of the INEC register.
Going by what has happened in Anambra, what do you think will happen in the elections coming up in Osun and Ekiti?
Even the whole of Nigeria come 2015… If somebody in INEC can compromise the register, so effectively, that names starting with certain alphabets do not appear, this is a dangerous development and we are very worried about the integrity and safety of the data. Probably, at the end of the day, we might have to adopt another form of election because this is a serious matter.