By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJAâ€”The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Maurice Iwu, yesterday explained that he barred the Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, from the Anambra gubernatorial election because the organisationâ€™s neutrality was in question.
He told newsmen in Abuja, while reviewing the Anambra election, as well as, preparations for the 10 April Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory.
â€œOn the issue of TMG, it was own decision to exclude them from observingÂ because the rule of election observation is that you have to be neutral. You shouldnâ€™t have taken sides before the election is held. It is not neutrality by rumour- that is this person or that persons says this person is supporting this person or that person.
â€œTMG went ahead in association with another body called ACG and went to the media and they had paid advertisement, making their position known ahead of the election.Â Secondly, because of TMGâ€™s leadership, it has not been able to rise above its history of formation.Â It was an organisation formed by the EU to combat the military.
â€œAnd they still see themselves as anti-establishment. That is not what civil society is all about.Â In civil society, it is either you are doing advocacy for a cause or you are trying to more or less promote or support a given cause.Â It may go in contrary to government position, it doesnâ€™t matter. But for you now to, at every given opportunity, what you are advocating is bringing down a particular institution- there is no particular institution in the world that will allow that.