Anambra: Soludo’s imposition is undemocratic – Iwu

‘The court would decide Prof. Chukwuma Soludo’s fate’; The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu, has described the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP’s imposition of Professor Chukwuma Soludo for the February 6, 2010, Anambra State gubernatorial election as anti-democratic just as he stressed that serial number on ballot papers will henceforth be shown to political parties 24 hours to election to prevent rigging.

Prof. Iwu, who said the commission will hold stakeholders’ meeting on the Anambra election today, added that he was not aware that the name of Governor Peter Obi has been substituted with that of another candidate. He declared that the court would decide PDP’s candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo’s fate.

He spoke at the Newswatch Magazine’s Fourth Colloquium, in Lagos, yesterday, where a former Inspector-General of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero, argued that police permit before political rallies are held are necessary because of the volatile nature of our political system even as he faulted the court’s voiding of provisions of the Public Order Act that prescribes such police nod.

Speaking on “Sustainable Democracy: The Role of INEC,” Prof.  Iwu argued that the rules guiding elections ought to be settled long before elections.

On criticisms that trailed the conduct of the 2007 elections, he said it was because the elections were successful that was why people are talking about a better one.

He explained that the 2007 elections exposed the problems inherent in the process.

Urging Nigerians to change their attitude, he said elections are good or bad because of the environment where they are conducted.

He pointed out that imposition of candidates cannot guarantee free and fair election as aggrieved people become enemies of the system.

Iwu tackles PDP on imposition

On the Anambra State 2010 governorship election, he said the way “the PDP imposes candidates is not democracy. You cannot contrive political problem, it will come back to haunt.”
According to Iwu, “this is what is happening in Anambra”.

He noted that the voter’s registers to be used in coming elections are capable of detecting fraud.
“The way forward is not to vilify the commission,” he said, noting that the Constitution Review should not be done through a fiat, but should be allowed to evolve.

“Our problem goes beyond legislation, our problem is attitude”, he said.