BY VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA – ANAMBRA State branch of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has threatened to take to the streets to compel the state government to conduct local government election.
The party said in Awka that its decision was informed by Tuesday’s sacking of the chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, ANSIEC, Professor Titus Eze, by the State House of Assembly over alleged financial impropriety.
But government, through Governor Peter Obi’s Special Adviser on Markets and Parks, Chief Sylvester Nwobu- Alor, said preparations for the election were in top gear, insisting that the exercise would be conducted before the end of the year.
Anambra State chairman of PDP, Prince Ken Emeakayi, told reporters in Awka that ANSIEC under Eze had shown commitment towards the conduct of the election and had been carrying the various political parties along in the commission’s preparations. He said removing the chairman at this point in time was an indication that government did not want the election to hold.
He said: “We will write the governor to express our feelings and for him to explain why the chairman should be removed at this critical period. If he fails to respond, we will mobilize our members to embark on demonstration. And if that fails, we will go to court.
“The local government election must be held this year. If the governor had been managing the ANSIEC chairman up till this time, there is no reason why he should not tolerate him until he conducts the election which had become controversial for many years.”
PDP believes that this is a ploy to scuttle the election and this is unacceptable to us.
He said: “The manner in which the House of Assembly handled the matter made the whole thing suspicious because the legislature deliberated on a letter allegedly brought by the secretary to the state government, SSG, and immediately removed the chairman without inviting him to state his own side of the story.”
Emeakayi said though his party had the feeling that government was not interested in conducting the local government election, it never imagined that it would be by removing the ANSIEC chairman, adding that there was no need for him to be removed at this level of the preparation of the election.