By CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
Some candidates and parties taking part in the governorship election have proffered suggestions on how to make the polls credible and peaceful.
Speaking at the sensitisation workshop for political parties and stakeholders organised by the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, penultimate Wednesday in Awka, the Anambra State Capital, they also pledged to observe the code of conduct jointly fashioned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC).
Action Alliance (AA) Chairman, Chief Tunde Salami said the AA would not only abide by the code of conduct for parties, the party would also be peaceful and accept best practices before, during and after the polls.
His APGA counterpart, Chief Victor Umeh, said irrespective of the capacity of some politicians for mischief during election, the polls will be free and fair if INEC and the security agencies do their jobs efficiently.
On his part, Citizens Popular Party (CPP) Chairman,Chief Sam Eke, who is also IPAC publicity secretary, said CPP was in full support of credible and peaceful election in Anambra and believes that the INEC will do a good job.
Urging the standard bearers to shun mud-slinging and embrace issue-based campaigns, he said the CPP firmly believes in the code of conduct.
To Umaru Mustapha of KOWA, the Anambra election is a test case in many respects. How? “It is a test case for all the hard work done under the Professor Attahiru Jega-led INEC and consultations done by the political parties through IPAC, which produced the code of conduct. So, the result must represent our choice. I challenge all candidates to make the election a win-win for everybody.”
NCP and IPAC National Chairman, Dr Yunusa Tanko, stressed the need for internal party democracy and supremacy because “the political parties are the anchor of the process of democracy and so must be protected.”
PPA National Scribe, Peter Ameh, decried the effects of money politics and urged voters to protect their votes after the polls. “Money politics is the cause of our problem; let’s desist from money politics. Voters should not collect N1000 and mortgage their lives for another four years. This election is a time for change. Most of our electorate are very docile. After voting, they walk away; it is more than that, they should stay back and protect their votes,” he enjoined.
Throwing his weight behind a rancour-free election, AA standard bearer, Okeke, said: “I assure you that we shall not disappoint. Let’s play the game by the rules; do not use youths as thugs and at the end of the day, whomever wins should carry others along.”
The candidate of the ruling APGA, Willie Obiano, said: “We are coming to move Anambra State to the next level. Governor Peter Obi did well. We have the capacity to generate needed revenue to develop the state and take it to the next level. I and my running mate are ready to abide with the rules and ensure credible elections on November 16.”
Chief Ezeemo of the PPA remarked: “We will go by the rules of the game. A word is enough for the wise. I thank my co-contestants for coming. I hope they will participate in the forthcoming debate so that we can see how we can put in place the things that are lacking in our state.
ACPN’s Tony Anene also pledged to observe the code of conduct and enjoined Anambra people to rise above money politics.Speaking for the APC candidate, Mr Ben Oranusi, deputy director general of Ngige Campaign organisation, said: “I pledge that Senator Ngige will abide with the rules and code of conduct. INEC did well in Edo and Ondo governorship elections but the Delta senatorial by-election was not well conducted. I hope INEC will ensure a credible election in Anambra.”
Comrade Igweze of the AD urged Anambra citizenry to shun the idea that the state is ungovernable. “Let’s improve the process of electing our leaders and shun born-to-rule and money-bag mentality.”