Candidates Complain In Anambra Election As Obi Surges Ahead In Early Results

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San Francisco Feb 06, (THEWILL) - Major candidates in the Anambra gubernatorial election of Feb 06 complained about various irregularities including doctored voters lists with names like Nelson Mandela and Bola Ige appearing in the register, late arrival of electoral materials and disappearance of eligible voters names from the register.

Mr. Peter Obi (APGA), Charles Soludo (PDP), Chris Ngige (AC), Andy Uba (LP) and Uche Ekwunife (PPA) all complained about INEC's shabby preparation for the election.

Incumbent Governor, Peter Obi refused to cast his vote because a lot of members of his constituents could not find their names on the register.

"I am not happy at all, and don't see why I should vote while several thousands of people are unable to vote, he said."

Though Uba, Ngige, Soludo and Ekwunife voted, they complained bitterly about many voters who were turned away because their names were not in the voters register. Observers said many voters were disenfranchised either because INEC failed to turn up early with voting materials or their names were not on the list of eligible voters.

The success of the Anambra election is crucial to Nigeria's electoral reform as it begins a circle of state and federal elections due in 2011.

There is also the issue of the Lagos high court judgment which said the electoral commission as currently composed was not competent to conduct elections in the country. Analysts have said that any of the candidates could easily use the judgment to challenge the election in court.

INEC in its defence said it was yet to receive the court order so the election would go on.

Meanwhile, APGA candidate in the election, Governor Peter Obi is maintaining an early lead in the poll with three local government areas officially reporting results.

Obi received 10,007 votes in Onitsha South against Chris Ngige's 3,511 while Charles Soludo polled 1,624. Andy Uba polled 860 votes.

In Anambra East LGA, Soludo polled 2,720; Obi polled 1,889; Ngige, 764; Uba polled 390 while Ekwunife polled 299.

In Anambra South LGA, Obi got 6,082; Ngige polled 3,718; Soludo polled 3,094 votes; while Uba polled 1,588 votes as at WAT.

THEWILL will update this page as INEC announce more official results.

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