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In spite the myriad of problems, which allegedly characterised last Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), yesterday said it would not subscribe to total cancellation of the election.
This came as Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Canada, Ambassador Dare Bejide, expressed displeasure over what he described as the shoddy arrangements put up by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the election which, according to him, almost marred the poll.
Also, the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), blamed INEC for the alleged irregularities, which it stated, reportedly marred the election.
The TMG Chairman, Malam Zikirulahi Ibrahim, who spoke on the sidelines of the problems faced in Idemili North Local Government Area, where the election did not hold on Saturday and was rescheduled for yesterday, said in spite of the problems, INEC performed well in some other areas where elections held.
The TMG was one of the observer groups that monitored the election across the state.
Fielding questions in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ibrahim said: “From our observation, we know the commission tried, but we also know areas where elections need to be repeated. We, however, believe that INEC could have done better by holding the re-scheduled election on a working day instead of a Sunday, considering the religious belief of the people of the area. Our concern is that anything worth doing is worth doing well.”
The TMG chairman, who advised INEC to let the entire world see that the issues arising from the election were appropriately addressed, said: “About the INEC Official, he must be seen to be punished, if INEC truly wants to retain its integrity.”
However, Bejide, who is also a PDP governorship aspirant, expressed shock that INEC still encountered problems of late commencement of accreditation and arrival of election materials in the election in the state, despite the long time it had to plan for the poll.
In a statement issued by the Director General of his campaign organisation, Mr. Abiodun Bamiteko, at the weekend, Bejide maintained that such hitches and flimsy excuses were capable of marring the outcome of the election, warning that such a docile attitude would not be tolerated in Ekiti State governorship election.
Meanwhile, the Ondo State chapter of PDP, in a statement signed by the Director of Publicity of the party in the state, Mr Ayo Fadaka, said what happened in the election indicated the fact that “INEC
was not above board in its handling of elections particularly in states whose election days differ from the usual national period set for elections.”
According to the party, “We have noted with indignation that names that were hitherto on voters register have suddenly disappeared and embarrassingly so is the name of the PDP candidate in the election, Tony Nwoye. There were also reports of illegal insertion of names into the register.
“At this point it is important to recall that when the governorship election held in Ondo State on October 20, 2012, the voters register was inflated with over 150,000 illegal names and this is aside all irregularities. The various courts that adjudicated on the matter agreed with our position that INEC was not above board in the matter.