The opposition party wants the National Assembly to wade in.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, said on Thursday that it was in doubt if the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had the ability to organize a free and fair governorship election in Anambra State, come November 16, going by recent developments.
According to a statement by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party alleged that the top officials whom the electoral body planned to send to oversee the election were card-carrying members of the PDP and had compromised their role as unbiased umpires.
It listed the officials as Lawrence Nwurukwu, the National Commissioner of INEC in charge of the South-East, Gladys Nwafor, the second INEC Commissioner from the South-East.
”Mr. Nwuruku was the Chairman of the PDP in Ebonyi State, while Mrs. Nwafor had worked closely with First Lady Patience Jonathan as a grassroots mobilizer,” the APC said.
“These officials cannot, in all honesty, be expected to be unbiased, because they have been compromised by their antecedents.
”If INEC indeed has any hope of organizing a free, fair and transparent election in Anambra on Nov. 16th, it must immediately shelve the plan to send these highly-partisan and heavily-compromised officials to supervise the election. Any action short of that will open INEC to accusations of bias – which is not what any umpire wants,” APC said.
The opposition party also said some actions taken by INEC in recent times had called to question its ability to stay above the fray as far as the Anambra election is concerned.
”For example, the voters’ register for Anambra in 2011 had 2.1 million names, which came down to 1.8 million after a review. However, despite continuous registration by INEC, the names came down to 1.7 million.
“This kind of chicanery is only possible under a circumstance in which deliberate efforts are being made to depopulate the voters in areas where the opposition has an edge.
”We are therefore left with no choice than to call on the National Assembly to seek explanations from INEC on the hanky- panky.
“This is necessary to ensure that the election is not rigged by the same body saddled with ensuring that it is transparently-organized,” it said.
The APC said it was closely monitoring all the processes leading to the election, since the success of any poll was not limited to actions taken on the election day alone. The opposition party said it was determined to ensure that no candidate is short-changed by INEC.