EDITORIAL: Anambra guber: INEC, FG must get it right


Today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct the fifth governorship elections under the present All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government, since 2015. The Anambra State gubernatorial exercise featuring 37 candidates is, therefore, another opportunity for the elections umpire to test-run its readiness for the 2019 general elections.

The election to vote a new governor for the state will take place in no fewer than 326 wards and over 5000 voting centres in 21 Local Government Areas.

Before today’s exercise, the INEC had painstakingly worked to eliminate observed inadequacies on its part in the previous elections in Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo States, respectively and has promised to conduct a near-perfect exercise using Anambra as a test ground. Their successes in the previous exercises are hereby acknowledged and applauded, but it can be improved.

One of the innovative ventures the commission intends to bring to bear in the Anambra governorship election is the use of its new electronic result transmission technology device. The automated result transmission system is a major innovation the commission wants to use to further strengthen the integrity of the Nigeria’s voting process and ensure that it is not compromised through rigging. The success or otherwise of the system will inevitably affect its deployment or otherwise in the 2019 general elections.

The election, therefore, offers the INEC ample opportunity to apply the automated machine side by side with the Card Readers and other innovative logistics and thus further build confidence and trust in the processes of entrusting the people’s mandate to elective officials.

It is hoped that the INEC will take advantage of the Anambra governorship to correct the administrative, technical and other extraneous inadequacies which were and beyond its control to conduct an exercise that will subsequently be a reference point in the country and Africa as well.

Granted! that the proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) had threatened to thwart the exercise and had called on ndi Anambra to boycott the election, a position most prominent sons and daughters of the state had countered.

However, while it will be foolhardy to attend to the threat with kid gloves, conversely it will be dangerous and indeed counterproductive to flood the nooks and crannies of Anambra state with security operatives armed to the teeth as if in a war situation. Excessive presence of security operatives armed to the teeth just to stay at an alert against probable interruption of the exercise will invariably dissuade the electorate from and adversely affect turnout for the exercise.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government will equally come under close watch as the way and manner the exercise is conducted will sharp reflect on the integrity ratio of the government that has professed transparency and accountability on all fronts as the basis of its operation.

The Presidency should therefore steer clear from interfering in all ramifications in the conduct of the exercise thereby offering Nigeria a credible electoral process truly unblemished and free from manipulations and the corruption of the past exercises.

Without mincing words, both the INEC and the APC-led federal government are condemned to conduct a credible exercise because failure in Anambra could generate no little public disaffection for the commission and ultimately rubbishes the credibility of the government’s transparency and accountability claims and further dull interest in the integrity of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The Anambra election will not only be a watershed for INEC should it get right, but the APC led federal government which in previous exercises was alleged to have unduly deployed security operatives to intimidate and chased away legitimate electorate from polling centres.

The Anambra governorship election must be different from other manipulated and discredited elections, restoring hope, build confidence and trust in the ever-growing improving electoral processes in the country.


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