Anambra Central senatorial rerun election a charade -Akunyili
Erstwhile Information and Communications Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili, has dismissed Tuesday's rerun election in Anambra Central Senatorial District as a charade. 'The Independent National Electoral Commission set out to conduct credible elections, but desperate politicians such as Dr. Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) were determined not to see that happen. Ngige has once more done what he knows best, which is stealing the vote,' said Akunyili, who flew the flag of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the controversial polls.
Narrating her ordeal in a press statement signed by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Isaac Umunna, Akunyili said: 'In all my life, I have never witnessed the kind of thing I saw on Tuesday. The level of intimidation of our party agents and disenfranchisement of my supporters was unprecedented. In some places, this shameful conduct was perpetrated by the thugs of the ACN as security agents who were supposed to checkmate them looked the other way. In a place like Nkpor, my agents were chased away and people who came out to vote for me were turned back.
'As the party in power in Anambra State , APGA could have easily mobilised to physically challenge this brazen disregard for the provisions of the Electoral Act by renowned election riggers who see politics as a do-or-die affair but we chose to do otherwise so as to prevent bloodshed. This is in keeping with my commitment to clean politics, having earlier taken an irrevocable decision never to engage even a single thug as I do not see my political ambition as good enough reason to cause trouble or shed the blood of anyone.'
Akunyili said that in view of the circumstances under which Ngige was declared winner with 69,725 votes as against the 69,236 votes credited to her, she had no reason to congratulate him.
'I would have been the first person to congratulate Ngige if the rerun election was free and fair because I am sensible enough to know that, as is the case with every contest, there could be only one winner of the election. I, however, have no reason to congratulate him because this was a clear case of daylight robbery,' said Akunyili, who led with about 1,000 votes before the rerun ballot held in areas where the April 16 voting was declared inconclusive by INEC.
The one-time NAFDAC Director General noted the mournful mood in Anambra State after the announcement of Ngige as winner of the rerun election, saying it was strong evidence that the will of the people had not been respected. According to her, 'There would have been spontaneous celebrations across Anambra Central in particular if Ngige actually won the election, but the reverse was the case. I will, however, not be surprised if, in keeping with his tradition, he hires a crowd of celebrants one of these days so as to give the false impression that the people are happy with his stolen mandate.'
Urging her supporters to remain calm and law-abiding, Akunyili assured them that what has happened is a temporary setback.
'As long as God is alive and on the throne, I am sure that we shall bounce back at God's own time,' she stated.
Special Assistant on Media to Prof. Dora Akunyili