From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) stormed the office of the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) Tuesday in protest of the alleged exclusion of their ‘real’ candidates for today’s local government council election.
Some of the placards carried by the protesters had inscriptions such as: “We say no to political disenfranchisement”, “Our vote is our power”, “Say no to election exclusion”, “ENSIEC is not for a particular political party”, “Free and fair election is joy of democracy”, “PDP and ENSIEC are killers of democracy”, among others.
Leader of the protesters and Secretary of APC in the state, Robert Ngwu, who addressed newsmen said: “We are here to tell the people of Enugu state that what is going on in ENSIEC is not good.
“We will go all the way to Supreme Court because this election tomorrow (Wednesday) will be voided because you cannot exclude the candidates of APC and that is against the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 amended, and also against the electoral act to exclude a political party.
“We have made our position is known to them both in writing and also through the media and ENSIEC still insist on the election going on. We can’t do anything but show our grievances to let the state know that what is going on is not right.
“This is a new APC and we are here to compete with the ruling party in Enugu State. The list is supposed to be submitted by the chairman and secretary. But what happened is that the ENSIEC chose the APC list by themselves. They chose the list, not us. The candidates in the list they published are not our members.
Chairman of ENSIEC, Chief Mike Ajokwu, who addressed the protesters explained that the reason for publishing Nwoye’s list was because he was the one the Commission recognised at the time.
According to him, APC has two factions and the commission wrote to the national secretariat of APC without a reply. A development that forced it to accept Nwoye’s list.
Speaking after, Secretary of ENSIEC Mr Chukwudi said the commission addressed the protesters said: “We told them that we didn’t exclude them. What happened is that they have two lists of candidates. And we used the one that is the proper one.”