2oth November, 2017
A deluge of commendations has continued to trail the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) conduct of the just concluded Anambra governorship election, since the official results were made public on 18th November.
Stakeholders are united in describing the election as “credible, free, fair and transparent.”
Those who expressed satisfaction with the Commission’s handling of the election include the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Governor-elect, Willie Obiano, Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), The Authority newspaper and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) among others.
The NLC, in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba described the election as “fair” and “a representation of the wishes of the electorate.” The statement reads in part: “We at the Nigeria Labour Congress wish to congratulate the people of Anambra State as well as commend INEC for the hugely successful election. The election, in spite of initial glitches, especially at its early stage, has been adjudged by not a few to be substantially peaceful, transparent, credible, fair and a representation of the wishes of the electorate.
“The outcome of this election has come as a pleasant surprise to APGA and non-APGA members, against the background of threats by IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) to disrupt the election and fears in some quarters that there might be executive interference as in the days of yore when membership of the ruling party conferred automatic victory.
“We urge INEC to build on this success in subsequent elections as its credibility is key to the success or outcome of elections. INEC may wish to commence this process by early preparations as well as plugging identified loopholes in the Anambra election.”
To Fayose, the outcome was a sign that INEC had been listening to the cries of Nigerians. Speaking through his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said, “even though there were reports of malfunctioning of card readers, number of votes exceeding the number of accredited voters, and pockets of violence as well as buying of votes, the election was better than others conducted by INEC under the present government of the APC.”
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said: “I congratulate Governor Willy Obiano on his victory. But above all, I believe that the process matters more than the outcome. I commend the good people of Anambra state, INEC, security agencies, media, civil society organisations, elections monitors among others for making the election peaceful.”
The CNPP, in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu declared: “We commend INEC for maintaining proven fairness and impartiality all through the process and the declaration of Chief Willie Obiano as the duly elected governor of the state.”
An obviously elated Chief Victor Umeh, APGA’s chief agent in the election also commended the Commission for conducting a credible election. His words: “There was tension that the results would be doctored. But today (19th November), all the local government results were the same as declared by INEC official. This is what we wish for the country – an electoral process where the people will choose their leaders by their votes. It’s a great day for politicians and the country.”
The Authority newspaper in its editorial published on 20th November also stated: “Kudos must of need go to INEC for the successful conduct of the elections.”