As a result, many were keen to see the outcome of the Anambra governorship election in which the party fielded Mr Tony Nwoye, a former governorship candidate of the PDP in the state.
Ahead of the election, President, Muhammadu Buhari visited the state and declared his support for the party’s candidate.
“I think we have made some progress in securing the country, secondly the economy; we are very lucky God listened to the prayers, mostly of ordinary Nigerians,” the President told supporters at a grand rally for Mr Nwoye last week.
“I thank you very much for staying for so long to watch us and I expect this clear demonstration of your support for the party to be demonstrated next Saturday.”
But Mr Nwoye suffered defeat to incumbent governor, Mr Willie Obiano, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, and ended the governorship race in second place.
He polled 98,752 votes while Obiano polled 234,071 votes, after which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the incumbent governor re-elected.
Like the APC, the Peoples Democratic Party also fell short of its expectation with its candidate securing the third highest votes in the election.
The party, which recently resolved a long leadership tussle with the help of the Supreme Court, is looking to build momentum ahead of the 2019 general election.
For Saturday’s election, it had diplomat and former Secretary to the Anambra State Government, Mr Oseloka Obaze, as its candidate.
But like other candidates, Mr Obaze lost the election in his local government area – Ogbaru – to Obiano.
Overall, Mr Obaze finished third in the governorship race with 70,293 votes, 30 percent of the governor’s votes.
Twenty-four hours after the Anambra governorship debate, here are some major quotes from the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tony Nwoye.
Others who participated in the debate include incumbent governor Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Oseloka Obaze of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Godwin Ezeemoof Progressives People’s Alliance (PPA)and Osita Chidoka of the United Progressive Party (UPP).
Read the quotes below;
Without power, good roads and water, there is nothing we can achieve.
If I am elected governor of Anambra State, the issue of power and infrastructure (good roads) will be paid enough attention to.
I left PDP because of Impunity. My supporters said we must leave PDP. I am a man of honour and integrity.
I was first Medical student to be elected Speaker, Student’s Union Government (SUG) in 1998. I was first Igbo man to be elected President Association of Nigerian Students and I was never linked in violence or cultism.
All my life, I have been fighting against injustice.
Awka, the state capital must be given a good look. It must look like the state capital that it is.
An hungry man is an angry man, if I am elected governor of Anambra, I will create jobs.
It is on record, that within past three years, I have given more than 150 men and women employment.
Government should not outlaw agitators, instead government should make them live a better life.
The All Progressives Congress’ Governorship candidate for the Anambra State governorship candidate, Mr Tony Nwoye, has kicked off his campaign with several promises.
Mr Nwoye provided some details of his plans for the people of the state on Friday at a rally attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as APC leaders and governors such as National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
“I want Anambrarians to trust us with our words; let them know that our words are our bond,” Mr Nwoye said before going on to reel out promises.
If elected as the governor, he plans to resolve “the issue of education” and create jobs.
He said, “If we are elected governor, the secondary school students who cannot afford to pay the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WAEC) fees, I assure you that we are going to pay their WAEC fees.
“If we are elected governor, being a former student leader (myself), we are going to negotiate whether there is a need to reduce the school fees in the state own institution.
“We promise our indigenous students bursary, we promise you that your hostels will be a place where you live comfortably and learn, we promise you that education will be bedrock.”
Concerning the health sector, the APC governorship candidate promised that, if elected, “all primary and healthcare services will be revamped. He also promised to promote industralisation, especially of Nnewi, Onitsha and Awka.
Mr Nwoye added, “On the issue of job creation, 6,000 of our youths don’t have jobs. I promise you that if I am elected as the governor, I am going to create jobs, we are going to appeal to the Federal Government to assist us.”
He accused the All Progressive Grand Alliance-led state government of mismanaging and embezzling local government funds and promised to turn things around.
“I assure you, if I am elected the governor, that within one year there will be local government election.”
Two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In separate letters, read on the floor of the House, the lawmakers, one from Anambra State, Tony Nwoye and the other from Benue State, Emmanuel Udende, informed the House that they are leaving the PDP due to the leadership crisis in the party.
The Minority Leader of the House, Representative Leo Ogor, however, rejected the move and vowed that the party will take legal action against the two lawmakers.
He said no recognised institution such as the courts had ruled that the party had split into factions.
But Dogara said that there was no need to debate the matter as the issue of the PDP would be handled at the national level.
With the departure of the two members from the PDP, the APC now has more numbers in the house where it is already in control.
An Appeal Court sitting in Enugu on Saturday dismissed the appeal brought before it by Senator Chris Ngige, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the November 16 governorship election against Willie Obiano, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the winner of the election.
Senator Ngige had appealed to the court to upturn the verdict of the Anambra State Governorship Petition Tribunal that had earlier upheld the election of Willie Obiano as the governor.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, pronounced the judgment on all the appeals against the election of the governor.
He dismissed all for incompetence and lack of merit and awarded 50,000 Naira cost against the appellant.
Also, the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Tony Nwoye, against the Independent National Electoral Commission and Governor Willie Obiano suffered the same fate of dismissal for lack of merit.
The victorious governor and the National Chairman of the APGA, Victor Umeh, the appeal court judgment marks the final stage of any legal challenge to the election of Mr Obiano.
The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has restated the commitment of the National Working Committee (NWC) to abide by laid-down electoral processes and the rule of law which forms the fulcrum of the party’s participation in elections across the country.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Sunday said that the NWC is in total support of the suit filed by its candidate, in the November 16, 2013 Anambra governorship election, Comrade Tony Nwoye, challenging the result of the poll.
It described the action of the candidate as a “step in the right direction and an acceptance of the directive of the National Working Committee, earlier communicated to him to pursue the mandate in accordance with established democratic procedures and rules”.
“The PDP is totally committed to democracy and electoral processes as stipulated by the constitution and laws of our land. This explains why we remained steadfast to the processes outlined for the Anambra governorship election and the reason for our earlier stand and directive to our candidate and members to participate in the Supplementary Election as directed by INEC.
“As a party committed to strengthening the institution of democracy, we believe that due process must be followed at all times to allow the laws and electoral rules run their full courses without any interruption. It is in this regard that we commend our candidate for conforming with the ideals of our great party in seeking redress at the right time and through the appropriate democratic channel”, the statement said.
Expressing optimism that “justice will prevail at the end of the day”, the statement said that the PDP “remains impressed by Nwoye’s credible outing, resilience and grass root appeal which brought him to the forefront in the race, despite having only two weeks to campaign”. It therefore charged all PDP members close ranks and remain focused in supporting the party and the candidate.
The statement also urged the people of Anambra State to “continue to resist attempts by the APC to turn the state into a theatre of violence and bloodshed, typical of desperate politicians and bad losers who do not have the interest of the people at heart”.
It further observed that the Anambra election and others so far conducted have shown that the PDP is still the preeminent party with genuine followership across the country, irrespective of its challenges and the heinous designs by enemies of democracy to weaken its support base.
Noting that it remains the “only party committed to national interest and unity”, the PDP said that it will continue to uphold the principles of justice and equity and ensure good governance for the welfare, prosperity and happiness of all Nigerians across board.
The candidate of the Labour Party in the November 16 governorship election, Ifeanyi Ubah, has secured court order for accelerated hearing in a case against INEC, challenging the legality of Saturday’s supplementary election in Anambra State.
In a suit filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, by his counsel, Olagoke Fakunle, Mr. Ubah is seeking an interlocutory injunction restraining INEC from conducting any further governorship election in Anambra State, until the court has reviewed the processes towards the poll.
According to Mr. Fakunle in a letter intimating INEC of the suit, supplementary election is not known to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, and the electoral umpire need not go ahead with the supplementary election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had rejected earlier calls by the Labour Party candidate, and his counterpart from the All Progressives Alliance (APC), Chris Ngige, and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Tony Nwoye, for an outright cancellation of the November 16 election.
The supplementary election is slated for Saturday, November 30.
The Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the Anambra governorship election, Mr. Tony Nwoye, has insisted on his plan to boycott the supplementary election scheduled for November 30.
Insisting on shunning the election, the Campaign Organisation of Mr. Nwoye, denounced the announcement made by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, insisting that the Mr Nwoye will take part in the supplementary election scheduled for November 30.
Mr. Metuh had said that the Peoples Democratic Candidate, would take part in the election.
It is the second time since the November 16 election that the state chapter of the party is in disagreement with the leadership of the party over the election that Nwoye, the candidate of the All Progressives Alliance, Chris Ngige and Ifeanyi Uba of the Labour Party have rejected the results released so far by the electoral commission.
The three candidates have called for a total cancelation of the election and insisted that a fresh election should be conducted.
In a press conference, the Director of Protocol of Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation, Mr. Ken Arinze, made it clear that the pronouncement of Mr. Metu was a personal thought and never represented the wishes of the candidate and of the party.
He said that the candidate would not participate in the supplementary election on the basis that the candidate’s name was not on the voters register.
“Being part of the supplementary poll is giving credibility to the election that lacked merit,” Mr. Arinze stressed.
Similarly, the Director General of Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation, Victor Ezenwa, reminded Metu of the premise of his office as the party’s National Publicity Secretary and not Tony Nwoye’s.
Mr. Ezenwa urged Metu to refrain from imposing his mind on the party or the party’s candidate.
Three principal candidates in the November 16 Anambra elections have rejected the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s decision to go ahead with a supplementary election in the state.
Mr Ifeanyi Ubah of the Labour Party, Chris Ngige of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Tony Nwoye jointly condemned the INEC chairman’s pronouncement and insisted that they will not participate, as they are set to boycott the supplementary elections.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, after a meeting of the commission on Friday, addressed journalists and announced Saturday, November 30 as the date for the Anambra supplementary election.
The INEC Chairman cited the inability of the political parties to provide substantial evidence to support outright cancellation of the process as a validation for the refusal of the commission to cancel the entire election.
In a swift reaction to Professor Jega’s claims, the candidates told Channels Television correspondent, Lanre Lasisi, that they have provided sufficient evidence to convince INEC that the entire exercise was a sham.
“As far as we are concerned, we have rejected the supplementary election fixed for 30 November, and we are not part of it. We advise the Independent National Electoral Commission to save the resources for that election, but they can go ahead and announce the APGA candidate as winner of the election, we will be more comfortable with that.” Dr Chris Ngige said.
A legal practitioner, Mr. Chukwuma Ezeala, says that the Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria (INEC) lacks the legal backing to cancel an election it had already announced its result.
The comments came as some stakeholders in the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State have called for the cancelation of election that INEC declared inconclusive due to witnessed irregularities.
INEC had released the results of the election on Monday morning, with the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Willie Obiano, leading with 174,710 votes.
The Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Tony Nwoye, followed with 94,356 votes, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Dr. Chirs Ngige, got 92,300 votes while the Labour Party’s candidate, Ifeanyi Uba, had 37,446 votes.
A total of 1,786,536 persons registered in the state while the number of accredited voters for the election was 451,826.
The number of votes cast was 429,549, representing 24.04 per cent of the total number of registered voters. A total of 10,544 votes were rejected.
After the announcement of the result, the electoral body declared the election inconclusive, saying it will fix a date for a supplementary election that will hold in the areas where the irregularities were noticed.
On Channels Television breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily,’ the lawyer faulted the call for the cancelation of the election and the conduct of a fresh election by opposition parties.
Sabotage Of Electoral Process
Mr. Ezeala, who is an international election observer, explained that political parties that had resentments about the conduct of the election and the result declared by the electoral body could seek redress in court or election tribunal.
“That is their only option,” he said.
“They are not lawyers and most of their advisers are not so they don’t know what the law stipulates.”
The issues arising from the Anambra governorship election have cast aspersion on the ability of the electoral body to conduct Nigeria’s General Election in 2015. The credibility of the electoral body is at stake.
Mr. Ezeala stressed that there was need for the electoral body to investigate what happened during the election for purposes of credibility in the electoral process.
INEC had ordered the arrest of an official for alleged sabotage of the process.
But Mr. Ezeala also said that records of such sabotage of electoral process contributed to the lack of trust for electoral officers in Nigeria.
“Why should we be talking about sabotaging an election in Nigeria?
‘Lack Of Credible People’
“The problem we have is lack of credible people to manage elections. The person can sabotage the process because he knows that nothing will happen.
“What encourages credibility is the ability of the government to prosecute people that have offended the law,” he stressed.
The election observer also stated that the lack of credibility contributed to the delay in the commencement of elections in Nigeria.
“Why would you not move materials closer to the place and give people around the place the result sheets?
“When you don’t have credible people, you will be releasing the materials to the polling units on the day of the election.
“In Ghana there is a measure of trust. There is trust to the extent that the sensitive materials will all be moved to far places a day or two before the election day,” he explained.
Mr. Ezeala urged the electoral commission to instil discipline in the staff in order to earn the trust of the electorates.
“The commission has the power to discipline the Resident Electoral Commissioner if he defaults, but it can’t sack the individual.
“He could be disciplined for incompetence or negligence. The electoral commission can post them away from a particular state. It can make recommendations to the Senate for removal,” he further explained.
The electoral commission will on Friday announce the date for the supplementary election but Mr. Ezeala was of the opinion that the electoral body should ensure that the fears of the political parties were allayed to restore credibility.
The Director, Strategy Planning of the Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation, Jude Onyeka, on Thursday responded to INEC’s claim that voters who failed to confirm their names on the displayed register were to blame for their missing names on the register, disenfranchising on Election Day.
Mr Onyeka who was speaking on Sunrise daily, from Channels Television’s Abuja studio said the electoral umpire is to be held responsible for the names which were missing from the register because the updated register presented to political parties three days before election was not the same as the one presented initially.
INEC, which had blamed the issue of missing names of voters who had failed to confirm their names during display, also absolved itself from any blame by saying it had presented a revised voters register to political parties three days before the election.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, the spokesman for the commission, Mr. Kayode Idowu, had explained that a glitch in the system necessitated an upgrade in the voters register as the system cut out 2 years from voters’ ages.
The voters register was compiled in 2011 but the system was not updated hence in 2013, the same age voters filled was the same on the register which was to be used for the Anambra election.
However, Mr Onyeka said the revised register was presented too late as there wasn’t enough time to send duplicate copies to all the wards, for voters to verify their names, three days before election.
It took the party one week to print and circulate the first register INEC presented 30 days before the election.
Onyeka claimed that the updated register was not the same as the first but asked if he had raised any alarm or complain to INEC, he said, there was no time to carry out a thorough check and they were busy canvassing for votes.
He alleged that up to 60 per cent of voters were disenfranchised on the day of election.
A lot of voters who saw their names on the voters register, which was displayed (in some polling stations) prior to the election, could not find it on the register on Election Day.
He averred that the election was not free and fair owing to a ‘massive disenfranchisement of voters.”
The election, he said, was a ‘monumental failure.’