POLLS:  We can’t afford to get it wrong – Nkwocha

By Clifford Ndujihe

Chief Emma Nkwocha, former Anambra State commissioner for Information and Culture, in this interview, speaks on why today’s election and the March 2 governorship and House of Assembly polls must be free, fair and credible.

INEC

The elections begins today what are your expectations from the governments, the political parties, candidates and the people?

With all my heart I envisage free, fair and credible general elections this year just as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has reassured the nation repeatedly. And I sincerely hope so. The electorates should be properly tutored on their voting pattern.

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Because a situation where voters are now being lured with cash doesn’t augur well for our democracy. Though it is understandable when viewed from the angle that the voting population that determines who wins are the most impoverished, hence would hardly resist the temptation of those offering them cash in exchange for their votes. From my investigations, these account for the progressively increasing number of voided votes.

Some go as far as collecting money from multiple candidates and parties then go ahead to vote for the highest bidder. The intentional voiding of the ballot when viewed from traditional beliefs was meant to absolve the perpetrators from the consequences of their indiscretion and financial misdemeanor and repercussions.

I wish other parts of the country would emulate Anambra during the last governorship poll in 2017 where two out of the three major parties and their candidates were sharing large sums of money and I stopped it in my ward. I wish INEC would be more at alert like they did in Osun and Ekiti states, that resulted in the apprehension of people buying votes as if at the floor of a stock market. More so, the Federal Government must endeavour to alleviate the harsh economic climate in the country. That is why every four years these leaders come back to buy the people’s votes with pieces of wrappers, bags of rice and some cash. At the end they disappear till the next four years. To me, this is unacceptable.

This is the same country where some governors claim they cannot to pay N30,000 minimum wage. To me, those governors are not saying so because they cannot pay. They can afford it, but were just simply wicked. I will urge the electorates in such states to use the opportunity of this coming election to vote such leaders, especially the governors out.

I know the people cannot muster enough unity and cohesion to do it. Because the governors would muster the power of incumbency, manipulate other relevant organs of government to have their way.

Who do you blame, the constitution?

There is nothing wrong with our constitution, it’s the implementation. Where those who would checkmate the executive are corrupt, they won’t have any moral strength to speak. So, for us to stamp out corruption decisively, the constitution must be thinkered for some of the overbearing powers of the president to be clipped. Also, so that where either the president or a governor for example did not perform well in the first four years the voters would simply vote him out and he won’t be able to handle the action. All this INEC abracadabra about voters and parties are neither here nor there.

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Look at what is happening about the case of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, which quoting the Senate President, was an impeachable offence by the President. The same Senate President, I recall with nostalgia told us last year that President Buhari has committed no fewer than 17 impeachable offences. So if I may ask, why haven’t they removed him out of office. Yes. They haven’t got the liver and moral strength because most of them have corruption cases hanging on their necks. They cannot muster the majority because of the powers, contacts and the overbearing political muscle of the president.

The Presidential candidates

Ositelu Isaac Babatunde               – A

Abdulrashid Hassan Baba             – AA

Omoyele Sowore             – AAC

Chike Ukaegbu                 – AAP

Shipi Moses Godia           – ABP

Nwokeafor Ikechukwu Ndubuisi               – ACD

Ezekwesili Obiageli Katryn            – ACPN

Mailafia Obadiah              – ADC

Yabagi Sani Yusuf             – ADP

Nwachukwu Chuks Nwabuikwu                – AGA

Chief Umenwa Godwin                 – AGAP

Obaje Yusufu Ameh       – ANDP

Durotoye Adetokunbo Olufela – ANN

Shittu Moshood Asiwaju              – ANP

Fasua Tope Kolade          – ANRP

Ibrahim Aliyu Hassan      – APA

Buhari Muhammadu      – APC

Shitu Mohammed Kabir                – APDA

Gbor John Wilson Terwase          – APGA

Yusuf Mamman Dantalle              – APM

Obinna Uchechukwu Ikeagwuonu           – APP

Dara John            – ASD

Angela Johnson                – AUN

David Esosa Ize-Iyamu   – BNPP

Ojinika Geff Chizee         – C4C

Abah Lewis Elaigwu         – CAP

Etim Emmanuel Ishie      – CNP

Ukonga Frank    – DA

Awosola Williams Olusola             – DPC

Osakwe Felix Johnson                   – DPP

Rev. Onwubuya                – FJP

Okotie Christopher Oghenebrorie – Fresh

Akhimien Davidson Isibor             – GDPN

Eke Samuel Chukwuma                 – GPN

Albert Owuru Ambrose                 – HDP

Madu Nnamdi Edozie                     – ID

Chukwu-Eguzolugo Sunday Chikendu – JMPP

Fagbenro-Byron Samuel Adesina – KP

Kriz David                                            – LM

Muhammed Usman Zaki              – LP

Adesanya-Davies Mercy Olufunmilayo   – MAJA

Bashayi Isa Dansarki                                        – MMN

Santuraki Hamisu                                             – MPN

Rabia Yasai Hassan Cengiz                            – NAC

Ademola Babatunde Abidemi                    – NCMP

Salisu Yunusa Tanko                                        – NCP

  1. Edosomwan Johnson – NDCP

Akpua Robinson                                               – NDLP

Ishaka Paul Ofemile                                        – NEPP

Dr Asukwo Mendie Archibong                   – NFD

Atuejide Eunice Uche Julian                        – NIP

Ike Keke                                                              – NNPP

Maina Maimuna Kyari                                    – NPC

Ibrahim Usman Alhaji                                     – NRM

Moses Ayibiowu                                              – NUP

Felix Nicolas                                                       – PCP

Abubakar Atiku                                                                 – PDP

Ameh Peter Ojonugwa                                                 – PPA

Victor Okhai                                                       – PPC

Major Hamza Al Mustafa                              – PPN

Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim                            – PT

Dr. Israel Nonyerem Davidson                   – RAP

Osuala Chukwudi John Kennedy               – RBNP

Nsehe Nseobong – RP

Da-Silva Thomas Ayo                                      – SNC

Ahmed Buhari – SNP

Balogun Isiaka Ishola                                      – UDP

Mark Emmanuel Audu                                   – UP

Inwa Ahmed Sakil                                            – UPN

Nwangwu Uchenna Peter                            – WTPN

Ali Soyode M.                                                    – YES

Moghalu Kingsley Bosah Chiedu                – YPP

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