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ANPP RAISES ALARM OVER ORDER OF ELECTIONS

By NBF News

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reverse the order of elections in 2011, urging the commission to hold all elections same day.

Addressing members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) at a meeting in Maiduguri on Thursday, National Chairman, Dr Chris Ogbonnaya Onu, said that the insertion of the conduct of presidential, governorship, national and state Assemblies' elections on different days in the 2010 Electoral Act was done in bad faith, adding that the current arrangement as contained in the law would give a particular party undue advantage.

'The order of the polls raises a serious question of whether it was deliberately inserted in the Electoral Act to subvert the unfettered expression of the people. The intended bandwagon effect is in favour of a particular political party as the order of the elections suggests and this could weaken the fundamental basis for the existence of an electoral umpire which is supposed to be impartial,' he declared.

Onu called on INEC to consider the important need for all elections to be held same day, stressing that the ANPP believes that doing so would determine the will of the people. He urged the commission to equally include the party's position on the issue as it champions extension of time for the conduct of the 2011 elections.

He said the commission has the opportunity to reroute Nigeria in a new direction that could offer hope to her citizens and also earn for her the respect of the democratic world. 'INEC has an important role to play in positively reshaping the image of Nigeria in the comity of democratic nations of the world,' he added.

He said the new leadership of the ANPP will reposition the party to give the people an alternative. He urged members to rededicate themselves, warning that the challenges ahead were daunting and could only be surmounted when members and party leaders were united even as he tasked them to put behind them, acrimony and squabbles.

The chairman, who was delivering his first address to the NEC meeting since his election, noted that polls were won only at the polling booth. He urged the party faithfull to prepare for serious campaign, adding that he would be available in many wards, states and across the country to canvass for votes for ANPP candidates.

He said it was time for the party to give Nigerians hope so that history could judge them well. He maintained that the path which they have chosen as opposition party was challenging because it requires sacrifices, hardwork and dedication where party interest must take precedent over personal interest, stressing that members must be ready to take up the challenges.

Onu expressed the hope in the ability of the ANPP winning the presidential election, adding that the commitment of the party men and women would give the party victory.