Imo re-run polls: APC, PDP hold ace

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the
Independent National Electoral Commission,
INEC, will tomorrow, conduct the
outstanding polls in Imo State, in according
with courts' orders.

The most prominent among the re-run
polls is the Imo North senatorial election
between the candidates of the Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Athan
Achonu and the All Progressives Congress,
APC, Mr. Benjamin Uwajumogu.
There are also re-run elections for the
Isiala Mbano, Owerri West and Oru East
state constituencies. The major contenders
are APC and PDP.
The Imo North senatorial election, which
Achonu of the PDP clearly won, would not
have been an issue, but for the fact that
INEC omitted the logo of Accord Party, AP,
in the ballot paper. The party's candidate,
Mrs. Rita Ibemere, approached the election
tribunal and the entire proceedings, leading
to the announcement of the election result
were quashed.
Is INEC right in fixing polls without court
backing on extension?
A major thorny issue is whether INEC is
right in fixing the re-run elections when the
approved 90 days from the date of
determining the matters by the tribunals
had lapsed.
Some lawyers interviewed in Owerri were
of the view that INEC cannot unilaterally fix
any date without necessarily getting order
of court to extend the time.
However, the major candidates are back to
the trenches. While Uwajumogu appears to
be banking on the incumbency of the APC
government in the state, Achonu is relying
on the goodwill of the people and the
mistakes of the Governor Rochas
Okorocha-led administration.
A PDP chieftain in Onuimo local council
area, Chief Vincent Okpalaeke, described
the re-run election as "an avenue for the
people of Okigwe senatorial zone to re-
affirm their trust and love for Senator
Achonu", adding that the man is not only
an achiever, but is also capable of getting
whatever is due to the zone.
APC leaders storm Imo
As of the last check, APC leaders from
some parts of the country have emptied
into the state to help beef up the chances
of the party in the Okigwe senatorial re-run
The story that made the rounds, yesterday,
was that the APC National Chairman, Chief
John Odigie Oyegun, is expected to lead
members of the National Executive
Committee, NEC, the National Working
Committee, NWC and other party leaders to
Confirming the development when he spoke
to journalists at his Umuihi, Ihitte Uboma
local government area country home, the
APC candidate said "they are coming for a
super rally, which holds Thursday, at Ehime
Mbano local government area".
Answering another question, Uwajumogu
was optimistic that he would win the re-run
election, despite all odds, even as he called
for a free and fair poll.
Okorocha suspends govt functions
Meanwhile, Governor Rochas Okorocha has
suspended all government functions or
activities programmed for the week
because of the INEC scheduled re-run
election for Okigwe senatorial zone and two
other state constituencies.
According to a release signed by the
Governor's Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam
Onwuemeodo, normal government activities
would begin next Monday, July 25, 2016.
The governor gave the directive at a
meeting of all government and party
functionaries and selected political leaders
last Monday, July 18, 2016 and directed
political appointees, especially the
commissioners to stop work till Monday,
July 25, 2016.
The governor also advised APC leaders to
insist on free and fair elections, stressing
that the security agencies have also been
told to ensure that people's votes count.
Okorocha asked those planning to rig the
elections to drop the plan because rigging
has become the old-fashioned method of
getting victory in an election.
"The re-run poll for Okigwe zone is a task
for every patriotic Ndi Igbo in general and
Imo and Okigwe people in particular
because of the good things that will
emanate from the victory of the APC
candidate, Benjamin Uwajumogu",
Okorocha said.
Similarly, the Imo State Police Command
said it would work in synergy with other
security agencies in the state and warned
all political parties, their agents and
supporters to conduct themselves in
accordance with the Electoral Act and
guidelines, so as to ensure orderly and
violence-free polls in the affected areas.
Police read riot act
The Police, in a statement by the Police
Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew
Enwerem, enjoined party leaders to ensure
that their candidates and supporters desist
from fomenting violence and have a rethink
over the use of political thugs before,
during and after elections.
"The INEC, security agencies, party leaders
as well as candidates contesting the
election have held series of meetings on
issues bordering the election. The Police
Command has received added instructions,
human and material support from the
Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim
Idris, to enable ensure the success of the
election. More so, there will be serious
dominance of Police, working in synergy
with other security agencies to guarantee a
violent-free election.
"Political parties are warned to make their
campaigns issue based and avoid the use
of abusive or inflammatory languages
during the period. In line with our renewed
strategies to ensure a free, fair, credible
and violence-free election, the
Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP
Taiwo Lakanu, has decided to shift his
office temporarily to Area Command
Headquarters Okigwe for a smooth,
transparent and credible election devoid of
thuggery, malpractice and violence", the
PPRO said.
The Police and other security agencies in
the State have resolved as follows: No
protest, demonstration or procession shall
be tolerated on the day preceding and, or
on the day of the election.
'' No security outfit should be seen around
the polling centres during the election
except those officially deployed for election
duties and they include the Police,
Directorate of Security Service, DSS,
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp,
NSCDC, Customs, Immigration, Prisons,
FRSC and NDLEA. Any other security outfit
seen within the polling or collation centres
will be arrested and prosecuted.
'' No politician or Government official
whether contesting or not shall be allowed
to be accompanied by any security official
such as orderly or escorts to the voting and
collation centres.
Unauthorized vehicle(s) found blaring siren
shall be impounded. Voters will not be
allowed to loiter around the voting centres
after casting their vote but would be
allowed to stay peacefully within300
meters away from the voting centres if they
so wish.
'' Only Security agencies, INEC Officials,
certified political party agents and
accredited observers would be allowed
around the collation centres.
'' There shall be restriction of vehicular
movement within the areas where election
will be held as from 0600 hours to 1800
hours on the election day.
'' In the light of the foregoing, we shall
activate all proactive measures in crime
prevention and detection, to achieve a
successful and laudable election. The
Police Command wishes to assure
essential service providers, such as
hospitals/clinic staff, PHCN, Media houses
etc, that their safety is guaranteed while
carrying out their lawful duties.
The Command will do everything within its
statutory powers to guarantee security of
lives and property of citizens in the state
before, during and after the elections.''

No comments:

Post a Comment



CALL/EMAIL. +2347062850211