Anambra Council Election Shifts Again

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?From Chuks Collins, Awka

The seeming crises trailing the Anambra state Local Government
election that has been scheduled and re-scheduled since it became due
in 2003, has been postponed yet again.

Ahead of the just concluded Nov 16, 2013 governorship election, the
council poll was earlier fixed for?Oct 4, then Dec 4, 14, and now
shifted again to?Dec 21, 2013.

This latest arrangement was contained in a letter from the Anambra
state Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) signed by the acting
chairman Chief Sylvester Okonkwo, addressed and sent to all the
political parties and stakeholders. Copy of which was made available
to the Guardian in Awka yesterday.

However, no clear reason was given for the latest postponement. But
political observers in the state suspect it was to enable the parties
take a deserved rest from the just concluded governorship election.

Another source from the ANSIEC gathered that the state governor Mr
Peter Obi had directed the Commission chairman in a meeting?on Sunday
to go and announce the change in date.

Okonkwo however chose to passing the information round through memo
to the political parties
sources said because he could not confidently face the press to make
such announcement again after doing so for an uncountable number of
times in the last few years.

Another source had linked the ugly state of affairs in the All
Progressives grand Alliance(APGA) to the situation.

The acting chairman of the Anambra State Independent Electoral
Commission Hon Okonkwo is also said to be worried that his commission
has not be properly mobilized to conduct the so much awaited poll
which has eluded the state since 2003

The deputy speaker of the Anambra state House of Assembly, Chukwudi
Orizu while reacting to the latest development exonerated the
legislators of any wrong doing. He claimed that the conduct of local
government election is the constitutional duty of the ANSIEC and the
executive.

Orizu said the only role of the House of Assembly is to promulgate
laws that will usher in enabling environment for the polls.
A group of APGA councillorship candidates had in a meeting at the
party office yesterday expressed shock and disappointment over the
latest change in date.

They said they would meet with that governor on his expected return
tom the state before making public their position on the issue.

One of the chairmanship candidate from the APGA who does not want his
name in print alleged insincerity on the part of the electoral body
and the state government. He claimed that the commission has not at
any time shown any serious sign that it was ?ready for the business of
conducting the election.

He described the latest postponement as an insult on the people of the
state. He called on the government to be brave enough to tell the
people the truth of its un-preparedness to conduct the council polls
as all excuses for postponement and cancellations ?have been
exhausted.

Meanwhile a renewed round of legal fireworks is expected to resume on
Monday, December 9, 2013?at the Federal High Court Awka in the matter
involving the ?former chairman of ANSIEC Prof Titus Eze, ?ANSIEC, the
state government and the state Assembly on the position of the
substantive chairman, which according to him shall be sorted out
before any council election woukd be contemplated in the state.

Legal buffs belief that the court case remains one of the many reasons
the local government election would not see the light of the day in
the state until it is either withdrawn or concluded..

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