By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Ahead of the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election, the United Progressive Party (UPP) has issued a stern caution that any attempt by anybody, party or agency of government to rig the electoral process in any form whatsoever, will be faced with very dire consequences.
In a statement by the party’s National Director of Publicity, Ogbuehi Dike, UPP said it is issuing this warning because it is fully aware of sinister plots by the APC to use compromised security and INEC officials to subvert the will of the people and rig in their candidate, who has been boasting that his party has the powers to “capture” Anambra state at all cost.
“We know of clandestine meetings between this party and compromised officials to manipulate the process, all in the failed bid to stop Igbos in Anambra state from electing a government that best represents their interest as presently embodied in the UPP, the only pan-Igbo party in the race.
“Furthermore, the curious and indefensible decision of INEC to halt the electronic transmission of results from polling units as it had earlier committed to is of great concern to us. The decision to continue with the outdated, archaic and cumbersome manual transmission of result from Poll unit to Ward collation centers is unacceptable.
The excuses proffered by INEC are puerile and to say the least, disingenuous.
“Having failed in their several attempts to shut us up through blackmails and threats; having also failed to coerce or buy the people, and knowing that APGA and PDP are no obstacles, the APC has been fixated on the UPP, realizing that it to be the inevitable winner”, the statement said.
UPP said it is clear that the fixation against the UPP is because of the party’s iron-cast affinity with Anambra people, deriving from their firm stand on pro-people ideology of self-determination, referendum and social justice; issues at the very core of the sensibility of the people and for which the people are ready to vote UPP.
The party therefore called on all those conniving in the plot to rig the election to understand that Anambra is a core Igbo state, and the people are passionate about this election, adding that they are resolute to use the election to genuinely restore the Igbo voice and demonstrate their determination for self-affirmation.
“The only way out is for INEC to respect the sensibilities of the Igbos, by ensuring a credible election where all votes count and where the will of the people is absolutely preserved. Anything short of that will have very serious repercussions.
“We issue this caution because anybody who knows the support base of our great party, would know that it has its eyes and ears everywhere; that the people are not cowed; but ready to come out enmasse to vote and to defend their votes within the law”, the statement said.