Thirty seven registered political parties in Enugu state have endorsed the November 4 Local Government election in the state as free, fair and credible. At a news conference in Enugu, leaders of the political parties claimed the election met minimum requirements of the international, best practices.
They acknowledged that election materials did not arrive at polling centers on time while there were few skirmishes and some cases of attempts to hijack electoral materials but maintained those issues did not affect the outcome of the election substantially. The Chairman of conference of all registered political parties in the state and state chairman of social Democratic Party, Mr. John Nwobodo, commended ENSIEC for its neutrality before during and after the election as the commission left its doors open for the political parties.
The thirty seven political parties while congratulating candidates who emerged victorious in the elections advised them to extend hands of fellowship to others. IPAC Secretary, Mr. Ken Onyekaonwu , who is the State Chairman of the United Progressive Party, and Mr. Festus Ogbonna of United Democratic Party noted that the state Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi gave all the needed support to ENSIEC to discharge its constitutional Mandate without interference.
However, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Ben Nwoye who stormed the venue of the news conference alleged that the leaders of the other opposition parties in the state were compromised; making it clear that he was not part of the news conference and insisting that the election was sham.
Dr. Nwonye alleged that those saying that the election was free, fair and credible were being used to achieve selfish aims. In the mean time, some leaders of thought in Enugu State have called on political parties and contestants in the November 4, council polls to close ranks and work towards building a Local Government administration that will address socio-economic needs of the people.
They made the call while reacting to the just concluded Local government election in the State. One of them and Speaker Enugu State House of assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi said it was immaterial who won or lost in the exercise but what was important was allowing people to choose their leaders. He commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for adhering to democratic principles especially at the third tier of government.
“I urge all the contestants to put behind party interest but close ranks for the interest of the good of Enugu State,” he said.
Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the Enugu state Governor Mr. Egechukwu Obetta explained that no system was perfect noting that the State electoral body should be encouraged to improve in subsequent election. He explained that there was tremendous improvement in the just concluded election compared to what it used to be in the past.
“All those who have the franchise to vote were allowed to vote, however there is nothing on earth that does not have imperfection. We are not saying that everything was perfect, we are going back to the drawing board to put our arts together.”
Meanwhile, some respondents have called for cancellation of the result based on what they described as irregularities at the poll.
OLIVER OSSAI & IFEOMA AMUTA