July 15, 2024

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We ‘re ready to partner political parties to deepen Nigeria’s democracy – INEC

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We ‘re ready to partner political parties to deepen Nigeria’s democracy – INEC

By Steve Oko

The Administrative Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Abia State, Mr Clement Oha, has said that the electoral umpire was prepared to partner political parties to deepen democracy in Nigeria.

Oha who stated this when the Ambassador Sunday Onukwubiri-led new leadership of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, visited the commission in Umuahia, said INEC was committed to credible elections and good governance in the country.

He urged opposition political parties to constructively engage the ruling party for the good of all.

” I want Abia to be a replica of not only good election but good governance. If you feel Government is not performing, constructively engage those in power so they can deliver democracy dividends “.

He commended APGA for its supports towards strengthening democracy, and for the peaceful conduct of its congresses in the state.

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The Administrative Secretary who was the Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state during the polls, noted that there were challenges in some areas particularly Obingwa but the honesty of INEC saved the situation.

He said that Abia was the only state in the South East without supplementary election even though without a REC.

The Admin Secretary explained that the reason the 2023 polls in the state were adjudged credible was because the electoral umpire “insisted on doing the right thing.”

” I told them that nobody should write results but should allow votes to count .

” When we had challenge at Obingwa I insisted that the right thing must be done.

” I don’t believe in ‘declare it and go to court’. I believe the proper thing has to be done”.

He further explained that it was INEC’s insistence ‘on the right thing’ that enabled APGA to secure a senatorial seat in Abia.

“I told my EOs and HoDs that we can’t afford to do the wrong things”.

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Speaking earlier, the new APGA Chairman and leader of the delegation, Ambassador Onukwubiri, said he came to present members of the State Working Committee of the party to the electoral umpire.

He promised to work harmoniously with INEC, other political parties and critical stakeholders to deepen democracy in the state.

Onukwubiri also said that APGA, “as a responsible opposition”, would help hold the ruling party accountable for the people.

” We will play the role of opposition not to create tension but to responsibly help the Government in power work for the people”.

All the members of the newly-elected SWC were present during the visit.



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