Young Progressives Party (YPP), at the weekend, led members of the Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC) to reject suggestions for a slight postponement in the date for the Anambra State governorship poll.
The national chairman of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, had cited the puzzling security situation in the state and hinted at the possibility of shifting the election date pending the return of normalcy in the state.
This is just as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, lamented that only five political parties have uploaded particulars of their voting agents as of Friday, October 8, 2021.
The INEC chairman spoke when the electoral body met with leaders of political parties last Friday.
He urged the remaining 13 political parties that were yet to comply with the commission’s guidelines to endeavour to upload the required details in the next two weeks as stipulated in the commission’s guideline for the Anambra State Governorship Election.
Prof. Yakubu warned that failure by any party to upload the details of the voting agents on the commission’s portal would entail the disqualification of the party’s agent from participating in the voting process.
At the emergency consultative meeting between INEC and leaders of political parties, the INEC chairman briefed the party leaders on his commission’s preparedness to conduct the Anambra State Governorship Election scheduled for November 6, 2021, as well as security concerns.
While commending the party leaders for finding time to attend the emergency meeting at short notice, the INEC chairman commiserated with the candidate of Labour Party (LP), Obiora Agbasimelo, who was kidnapped, disclosing how he personally engaged the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force for urgent and further intervention.
Apart from announcing the completion of registration and regularisation of the 138, 802 voters in Anambra State, including those requesting transfers or replacement of PVC, Prof. Yakubu disclosed that all the damaged sections of the INEC office at Awka have been repaired and completely refurbished with additional security arrangements put in place.
It was gathered that the ZLP chairman, Nwanyanwu and few other political parties promoted the idea of a slight postponement of the gubernatorial election in Anambra State owing to the existing security challenges in the state, but were stoutly opposed by YPP and the majority of the stakeholders.
While the parties complained about the issues of vote-buying and alleged plans by some parties to corrupt INEC staff, the INEC chairman addressed the apprehensions, even as he assured that biometric verification of voters and Electronic Transmission of Results would be deployed in the poll.
Responding on behalf of other members of IPAC, the chairman, Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, thanked the commission for its assurances and readiness to go ahead with the Anambra governorship poll.
He said it was gratifying to note that INEC was determined to employ biometric verification of voters, alongside the electronic transmission of results, but threatened that his party, African Action Congress (AAC), can only continue participating in the election if the security of life was guaranteed in the State.