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PDP makes U-Turn On Anambra Election

November 23, 2013

METUH PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party has made a U-turn on its position on the inconclusive November 16 governorship election in Anambra State which it earlier described as free, fair and credible.
It also debunked claims in some quarters that it had abandoned its candidate in the election, Mr. Tony Nwoye.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a telephone interview with Saturday PUNCH in Abuja, on Thursday, denied describing the election as free, fair and credible.
He said that the party’s position which he expressed on Sunday was to commend the President and other stakeholders for providing an enabling environment for the peaceful conduct of the polls.
Metuh, had in the statement issued a day after the election, expressed gratitude to the President, security agencies and other stakeholders for the conduct of “a free, fair and credible election.” This, he said, was “in spite of any perceived hitch(es).”
The recant came as the popular masses group in the South East, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, said it would hold a two-day meeting at its headquarters in Okigwe, Imo State, where it will deliberate on the outcome of the inconclusive election.
MASSOB told Saturday PUNCH on Thursday that the meeting would start on Friday and end on Saturday, adding that the group would make its position on the election known after the meeting.
Metuh had on Sunday said, “The Peoples Democratic Party hereby commends President Goodluck Jonathan for providing adequate security and the enabling environment for the conduct of credible, free and fair governorship election in
Anambra State last Saturday in spite of any perceived hitch (es).
“In the same vein, we commend the entire people of Anambra State and all stakeholders who played key roles in ensuring peaceful and orderly conduct of the process.”
He had also said while the party awaited the official result, “it expressed its satisfaction that the election was conducted without disturbances, despite the massive importation of political thugs by the All progressives Congress as well as their heinous plots to introduce violence to disrupt and rig the poll.’’
However, on Thursday when asked if the party’s position was not at variance with the position taken by its candidate, who joined other candidates in demanding fresh elections, Metuh insisted that there was no contradiction.
He said “We commended the President and the electoral officers for providing the enabling environment for this election.
“Mind you, what we said (last SUNDAY) was that we commended them for providing an enabling environment. We never said whether it was peaceful or credible or free and fair.
“It’s a question of semantics, we were more concerned with the fact that APC wanted to rig the election and that they wanted to cause a lot of violence and mayhem in Anambra but the security forces were capable of handling the situation and they stopped them.
“It has nothing to do with the conduct of the election but the creation of the enabling environment for a peaceful, credible, free and fair poll.”
Metuh also denied claims that the PDP was conniving with the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance in order to gain support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 ambition.
He said the point needed to be made that the PDP fielded Prof. Charles Soludo as candidate in the 2011 Anambra governorship election, worked hard towards his election but that this did not prevent APGA from supporting the President.
The spokesman said, “So the notion that we are doing this or that because of the 2015 Presidency is not true.
“With what has happened before with the norms and the practice of the party in the past, we don’t need to justify any such thing.”
MASSOB meeting which began on Friday, Saturday PUNCH learnt, was convened to enable the group to present a joint position on the election.
Before the November 16 election, MASSOB had declared that it was not in support of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, the ruling party in the state and the leading party in the inconclusive election going by the results so far released by the Independent National Electoral Commission. MASSOB members are largely poor masses in the South East region.
The Director of Information of MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu, said, “We will definitely come out with our position on Saturday.”
Though Madu declined making personal comments on the election, he said MASSOB was concerned about the conduct of the election and the outcome. “That is why we are going to discuss it. Please, just be patient I will let you know what our position will be on Saturday,” he said.
Already, security agencies in Awka, the state capital are said to be having a herculean task containing the number of pro-cancellation and anti-cancellation demonstrators that have been besieging the INEC office to either protest or support the election that the electoral body itself admitted was shoddy.
There are fears that this situation may soon get out of hand if left uncontrolled. A pub operator at Aromma Junction where demonstrators usually meet before proceeding to INEC office, Mr. Ken Okoye, said, “It is a matter of time before these groups will clash and throw the state into another round of political mayhem.”
But the Secretary General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo organisation,
Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, has appealed to the Igbo to remain peaceful and allow the process of the Anambra election to run its course. “Igbos must maintain the peace because what will be will be,” he said.
He told Saturday PUNCH that though Ohanaeze would hold a position on the election, it would want INEC to complete its work.. He said, “We will want INEC to complete election and make its announcement. We cannot comment at this point in time.”
However, a lawyer and a former local government chairman, Mr. Clems Ezika, said INEC should cancel the election, adding that the responsibility of getting the state out of the logjam rested with the electoral body.
Ezika said Section 30 – 34 of the Electoral Act empowered INEC to cancel elections that have not been concluded.
Meanwhile the police in Anambra State have warned against illegal gatherings in the state. The force has also asked trouble makers to stay clear of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, told Saturday PUNCH that the command was prepared to deal with anyone that foments trouble in the state.
The Punch

From → General

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