Anambra Assembly Poll: Voters Revolt Over Stolen Result Sheet

anambra state-voters revolt on electionThe House of Assembly re-run in 32 wards and 500 polling units in Anambra State has been conducted amidst complaints of electoral fraud and malpractice.

Several inconsistencies during the April 11 House of Assembly election led to the cancellation of the poll in 32 wards and 500 polling units spread across Anaocha, Aguata and Ekwusigo Local Government Areas.

At a primary school in Egbema Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area, where there were three polling units with over 500 registered voters each, accreditation with the card reader was successful. Though, the turnout of voters was not impressive.

The situation was not the same at Umuoru Hall in Uga ward 1. The center had five polling units but voters were at daggers drawn fracas with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials who they asked to produce the result sheets.

The suspicion of the missing result sheets was created by the two Supervising Presiding Officers posted to the unit who suddenly disappeared with their cell phones switched off.

The people accused some of the political heavy weights in the community, who they felt were battling for supremacy, as responsible for the electoral fraud.

Uga ward 1 had 25 polling units. The incumbent Senator representing the Anambra South senatorial zone, Senator Andy Uba, as well as the incumbent member of the House of Assembly, Honorable Ikechukwu Umeh, were both registered voters in the ward and are in different political parties.

As the war raged on, many voters left while some in polling unit 023 continued with accreditation.

However, the Presiding officer succumbed to the intense pressure of cancelling the election in Umuoru as the calls he put across to his superiors ended with him writing a report on the election that couldn’t hold due to disruption by party agents.

While voting was successfully done at polling unit 005 at St Peters, voters at Umumonye Hall did not see any INEC official or ballot materials and they were not given any reason for the disenfranchisement.

APC, Others Condemn Election Process In Anambra

anambraIssues and complaints have continued to trail the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly Elections in Anambra State, as collation of results is concluded in various constituency  and Local Government Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the Senator representing Anambra Central and a leader of the party in the State, Senator Chris Ngige, on Monday condemned the election and called for its cancellation.

In a press briefing, Senator Ngige, demanded that the election should be conducted based on the use card reader and the release of party members held hostage in some parts of the State.

Senator Ngige’s statement came days after the factional senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Anambra South senatorial zone, Mr Chris Uba, asked the INEC not to announce any of the candidates of the PDP winner of the election or issue the certificate of return to any “until the suit at the supreme court is determined to State”.

Similarly, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has maintained that the collation of results had not been transparent.

The APGA  commended the INEC for ensuring a good outing at the riverine areas of Anambra East and West, but, however, had issues with the collation of results. Members of the ruling party in the State had accused the PDP of hijacking the process of collation to suit it.

Addressing the grouse of the political parties, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Edwin Nwatarali, said all issues should be addressed to the appropriate quarter, as the election and the commission were guided by law.

While the complaints mount, results of winners of the National Assembly elections are being announced.

50 Prisoners Receive Catholic Confirmation Sacrament

The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor on Thursday administered confirmation sacrament to 50 inmates in the Awka Prison during a pastoral visit.

The Bishop was accompanied by the Anambra state governor, Mr. Peter Obi and his wife.

While addressing the gathering at the prison, the bishop called on the federal government to accelerate the Nigerian prisons system reforms maintaining that the present state of inadequate facilities in Nigerian prisons was unacceptable.

He lamented that 90 percent of the inmates were still awaiting trial, he stressed the need for speedy dispensation of justice while protecting the fundamental human rights.

The bishop explained the reason for the visitation stating that it was to give the inmates a sense of belonging and encourage them towards reformation and proper integration into the society when they regain freedom.

He expressed his regret over the attitudes of some politicians towards the plight of Nigerian youths who form the bulk of inmates in prisons.

The state governor towed the line of the bishop in condemning the activities of some politicians in exploiting the condition of unemployed youths to expose them to crime and urged parents to see that their wards are productive and not thugs.

Mr. Obi enjoined the Awka prison management to engage the inmates in agricultural activities so as to be productive while assuring of his full support in the course.

The Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial Zone, Senator Andy Uba, represented by the director of his charity foundation made donations of materials to the inmates and decried the level of decay inside the prison.

The Catholic Diocese also added a bus donation to the prison authority to help ease transportation difficulty in conveying the inmates to court.