Anambra 2010: History is repeating itself

Is History about to repeat itself in Anambra State? –  

1. Despite the wishes and actions of the Nigerian people and the international community for a free and fair gubernatorial election in Anambra State on February 6, 2010, the signals are foreboding enough. There are strong indications that the election could be as bad as the 2007 general polls which have been condemned worldwide as arguably the worst election ever in African history.

2. In the 2007 gubernatorial vote which should not have held at all because the office of the Anambra State Governor was not vacant, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) went out of its way to favour a particular candidate, Chief Andy Nnamdi Uba, erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs, the equivalent of Chief Butler in the United Kingdom.

3. INEC insisted on the illegal disqualification of all three leading opponents of Chief Uba, that is to say, Governor Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), former Governor Chris Ngige of the Action Congress (AC) and Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). In spite of the Court’s decision that INEC’s action was unconstitutional and illegal, it bluntly refused to have Dr Ngige’s name and his party’s symbol on the ballot paper.

4. So committed to Chief Uba’s victory  was INEC that it announced Chief Uba scored more votes than were registered for the election, only to change the figure later in the day when the absurdity of its vote allocation was highlighted by media like the Africa Independent Television (AIT).

5. It does seem that history is about to repeat itself in Anambra State . With Andy Uba now entering the gubernatorial race, the INEC leadership has secretly been influencing and sponsoring articles in the media to the effect that two of the leading candidates in the forthcoming election, Professor Chukwuma Soludo and Gov Obi, would not be allowed to contest on grounds of so-called internal squabbles in their parties. The truth is that the squabbles are engineered and encouraged by INEC. And the sponsored publications are designed to test the waters.

6. INEC’s conduct goes a long way to confirm reports that it is determined to give Chief Uba’s two leading opponents what INEC officers themselves privately call the “Atiku treatment”. Former Vice President was disqualified by INEC and frustrated so much until the Supreme Court declared its conduct illegal and consequently restored his candidature in the 2007 election. But this was just a few days to the election. Atiku, therefore, had no time to organize him campaign machinery or even go round the country. He took part in the election all right, but he was like a fighter in the ring with his two hands tied at the back.

7. There are unconfirmed reports that the INEC leadership is also considering recreating in Anambra State the scenario in Imo, the home state of the INEC Chairman, when two ago the PDP could not field candidates for internal reasons, and so asked its supporters to vote for the candidate of a rival party, who was in its fold previously on the understanding that he would return to the PDP after assuming office as governor. INEC this time wants a crisis situation which could make PDP supporters, who are an overwhelming majority of the electorate in Anambra State; cast their lot with Chief Uba of the Labour Party who recommended Professor Maurice Iwu to Obasanjo for appointment as the INEC Chairman.

8. It is a great pity that despite the calamity brought upon Nigeria by the 2007 election, INEC looks more determined to rig the forthcoming Anambra vote in a more brazen and unconscionable manner. The prognosis is that the 2011 general election in Nigeria will be the greatest electoral charade ever.

9. The Nigeria Renewal Group hereby calls on all Nigerian people, political associations, human rights groups, the Nigerian government and the international community to quickly   rise against INEC’s perfidy and crime against Nigerian voters. It is inconceivable that we would throw out the almighty British imperialism, only to capitulate to the imperialism of a handful of vicious local elements.




Dr Gabriel Kolawole                           Mrs Olufunke    Oshodi

Executive Director                               Head, Public Enlightenment