The leading lights of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, will Thursday morning lead a mass protest to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to further object to the electoral agency’s plan to conduct supplementary election in Anambra state.
The November 16 governorship election in the South-East state is generally believed to be flawed, marred by extensive logistics problems and electoral malpractices.
The election was later declared inconclusive, with the electoral commission saying a supplementary election would have to be held in some parts of the state for a winner to emerge.
The APC has called for a cancellation of the election, a demand the INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, has rejected. He said the opposition party did not prove that the lapses in the election were so extensive to justify cancellation.
But in a statement circulated late Wednesday night, the APC leadership indicated it would lead the party’s members to INEC to further express disapproval over the commission’s handling of the controversial election.
In the one-paragraph statement, a chieftain of the party, Dino Melaye, said, “Fellow citizens, please join Chief Bisi Akande, General Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Prince Tony Momoh, Chief Tom Ikimi, APC governors, members of the National Assembly and other patriotic Nigerians as we protest to INEC HQ in Maitama, Abuja, tomorrow morning (Thursday), 28th November, 2013 by 10am.
“We will take off from APC national secretariat at Wuse 2, Off Ademola Adetokunbo, Abuja. We must stop electoral fraud garnished with impunity. In an unjust society, silence is a crime. The time that silence is no longer golden is now. God bless Nigeria.”
The statement was later widely circulated on social media by former Minister Nasir El-Rufai, the party’s deputy national secretary.
The APC had on November 21 announced that it had formally written to Mr. Jega, demanding the cancellation of the governorship election.
The APC National Chairman, Bisi Akande, who addressed journalists in Abuja, said their request followed plans by INEC to conduct supplementary election in 210 polling units in 16 local government areas of the state.
Mr. Akande said the APC was also demanding that no candidate should be returned as winner of the election until a fresh one was held.
He hinged the party’s demand on the irregularities and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, which, he said, characterised the conduct of the election.
The APC chairman said proceeding with the election would amount to a gruesome assault on the right of the people of Anambra State to elect a governor of their choice, and would also be interpreted as a legitimisation of a grave travesty of the electoral process.