Awka – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra state has announced that only 14 candidates would participate in the January 13, 2018 re-run election in Anambra Central Senatorial district.
Resident Electoral Commissioner, Anambra State Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, made the announcement during a stakeholders’ meeting held at INEC state head office Awka on Wednesday.
Orji explained that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is excluded as a court had barred the party from fielding any candidate whenever the election would be re-conducted.
According to her, other parties that fielded candidates were eligible to contest the Saturday January 13 re-run election, adding that the electoral body had already distributed non-sensitive materials to the affected seven Local Government Areas.
“The sensitive materials would arrive the state on Thursday and once that happen, we will distribute them to the affected areas,” he said.
The election will be conducted in seven local government areas that constitute Anambra Central Senatorial District namely: Awka North, Awka South, Idemili North, Idemili South, Aniocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia.
Orji said that a total of 7,670 ad-hoc workers would be deploy for the conduct of the election holding in 1,548 polling units.
He also assured that every arrangement to ensure smooth conduct of the election had been made and cautioned against any form of violence or anti-electoral conduct before, during and after the exercise.
On the report that a Federal High Court delivered a judgment may have neutralize holding of re-run in Anambra Central, he explained that no such directive was given to Anambra office of INEC by INEC headquarters.
“As a state office, INEC Anambra is not responsible for policy issues, we get our directives from INEC national headquarters and no such directive has been received asking us not to go ahead with Jan.13 re-run in Anambra Central Senatorial District.
“We advised political parties to play by the rule because we will ensure that we deliver free, fair and credible election which is now a minimum benchmark for INEC in any election we conduct,” he said.
Orji while responding to questions from stakeholders condemned the issue of vote buying which participants complained characterized last governorship election held in Nov.18, 2017 in the state.
He said combating the menace of vote buying require collaborative efforts of political parties, security agents and INEC officials, and called on the people to join hands with the commission to improve conduct of elections.
The Anambra State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) Mr John Ahwen, said security agents are ready for Saturday re-run election and noted that movement would be restricted in the affected areas.