Ogbaru House of Reps supplementary election: NUJ calls for due process, level playing field

Ogbaru House of Reps supplementary election: NUJ calls for due process, level playing field

The Anambra State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to provide a level playing field for all the contestants, ahead of this Saturday’s rescheduled House of Representatives election in Ogbaru Federal Constituency of Anambra state.

The Ogbaru Federal Constituency election was declared inconclusive by INEC after the February 25 election, which Labour Party was leading with over 1500 votes. Labour Party also won both the presidential and Senatorial elections held on the same date.

The resolution was most likely inspired by repeated boasts by the Political Adviser to the Anambra State Governor, Alex Obiogbolu, that his party, APGA, will “capture” the Ogbaru Federal Constituency seat.

In the build-up to this Saturday’s supplementary election, the state government had reportedly directed all political appointees to be in Ogbaru, in an orchestrated intimidation strategy.

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This call, NUJ said, was to protect the credibility of the election and also ensure that the election was free, fair and devoid of any anti democratic tendencies.

The NUJ in a communique it issued at its monthly state congress at the Godwin Ezeemo International Press Centre, Awka, warned the Anambra state government against any acts of intimidation against other interests in Ogbaru, as it is alleged that the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, wants to win the election by all means.

The Union also enjoined the commission to ensure that all the sensitive and non sensitive materials for the poll were deployed early enough, and for the election to commence as planned with adequate security so as to prevent voters’ apathy and to allow the people’s votes to count.

The communique, co-signed by the Chairman; Dr Odogwu Emeka Odogwu,
Secretary, Comrade Sir Aloysius Ofodile; and Comrades Okechukwu Onuegbu and Abuchi Onwumelu reiterated that all the stakeholders, including the contestants and voters in the federal Constituency should support the INEC in organizing a credible, free and fair election.

It read further: “As the 2023 State and National Assembly elections Tribunal commence sittings in Anambra State, the congress warned politicians to refrain from acts and utterances capable of destabilizing the peace of the State.

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“Therefore, the congress urged all the contestants, political parties and other stakeholders that participated in the 2023 general elections in the State to either accept defeat or seek redress in peaceful manner.”

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