Enugu Council Polls: Group Blasts APC, VON-DG, Others, Says Election Was Not Shambolic

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State


Enugu Youth Coalition has reacted to the statement credited to the factional Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Dr. Ben Nwoye and other opposition parties describing the just ended Local Government Election in the state as a sham.

Similarly, the group also berated the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Chief Osita Okechukwu for alleging that the just concluded council polls was manipulated to favor the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

The group further noted that Mr. Okechukwu and his party never campaigned in any part of the state during electioneering campaigns; instead, chieftains of the party were busy fighting one another over their intractable internal crisis in the state.

In a statement released to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday by the national coordinator of the coalition, Dr. Edwin Obune, the group said the council election was not only credible, free and fair but also meet the standard of election observers as testified by the Coalition of Accredited Independent Observers who monitored the election in all the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.

According to the statement issued by Mr. Samuel Onoja, Coordinator of the Independent Observers, the group said ”The Enugu Local Government Election is one of the most peaceful, credible and transparent exercises in Nigeria.”

”All the observers deployed to various polling booths across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state have sent in their reports confirming that elections were peaceful, transparent, free, fair and devoid of violence.”

”The turn-out of voters especially the youth and women were also impressive, maintaining that there were no incidents of violence, ballot box snatching and vote buying as the electorates exercised their franchise freely and in a peaceful atmosphere,” said the observer group.

We therefore wondered why the state chapter of the APC, the United Patriots UP and other opposition parties who never held campaign rallies in any part of the state are discrediting the election adjudged to be one of the best in the country.

As a socio-political pressure group, we are particularly concerned about the false allegation of the APC accusing the Enugu State Government of not providing level-playing environment for opposition parties to strive in the state; especially when the party and some group of independent observers had praised the state government as well as the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) before the polls, saying: ”The Enugu State Government provided all the necessary logistics for ENSIEC to organise and conduct credible elections in the state without state government interference.”

”Indeed, the Enugu State Governor is a true democrat by ending the use of caretaker chairmen in the state and making sure that democratic local government chairmen and councillors are elected in the state.”

The group further noted that the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party was possible because it vigorously campaigned in all the 17 Local Government Areas and 260 Electoral Wards of the state.

Accordingly, out of the 36 political parties that participated in the election about 20 parties under the auspices of Alliance Parties for Democratic Dividends and Good Governance (APDGG) collapsed their structure and mobilized their supporters for the PDP before the election.

In a statement released by the coordinator of APDGG during campaigns, Dr. Gerald Abonyi, the coalition said: ”We are sure of PDP victory, given that we adopted candidates of the PDP in all the chairmanship and councillorship positions in the state.”

Therefore, we are advising the opposition parties who never campaigned for the election in any part of the state to stop their rants and accept defeat in good fate because in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ”Satisfaction lies in the efforts, not in the attainment because full effort is full victory.”


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