- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 30 September 2010 12:11
- Written by Nigerian Compass
- Hits: 1085
AS the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) intensifies preparations for the general elections, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), has said that all the 2011 polls be held same day.
The party said said doing so will be in the overall interest of the nation’s democracy and that it would also save cost.
The National Chairman of the party, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who suggested the option yesterday in Abuja at the inaugural ceremony of the maiden Conference of ANPP Governors and Legislators, said that the Presidential, National Assembly, Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and Local Government polls should hold same day.
Onu, a former governor of Abia State, reasoned that his idea, if accepted, would tremendously help to halt attempts in certain quarters to trigger off bandwagon effect that would subvert the democratic will of the people.
The ANPP boss equally urged the party’s elected members in the National Assembly to support the shift in election date next year, which INEC is demanding for.
He said that the call became pertinent as “it is a patriotic duty for our members in the National Assembly to ensure that nothing remains undone to guarantee free, fair and credible elections in 2011”.
On the need to hold elections the same date, Onu said: “As our legislators work for this time extension, they should lead others in ensuring that elections are conducted on the same day. This will respect the will of the people in choosing their leaders.
“It will stop the attempt in certain circles to trigger-off a bandwagon effect that will subvert the democratic will of the Nigerian people.”
It will considerably reduce cost for political parties as just a single polling agent will be needed for all the five elections,” he stressed.
“It will also drastically reduce cost for INEC, which will conduct one, instead of three elections as originally planned. All that is needed is to give different colours to the various ballot papers so as to distinguish one election from the other,” the ex-governor said.
He charged the ANPP elected lawmakers not to relent until the party’s proposal is realized.
Onu said: “Democracy will be impatient with you, because if you fail, Nigerians will gnash their teeth in agony, in anguish, in hopelessness and in despair. I know you will succeed.”
Onu declared that there was no garrison commander in ANPP as the party is owned by the people.
He appealed to Nigerians to give the party the opportunity to help build a new Nigeria where the present ills of the society, insecurity of lives and property, poor infrastructure, unemployment and poverty, among others, would be fought and defeated.
In attendance at the conference were the Kano State Governor and two ANPP presidential aspirants, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, and Alhaji Bashir Tofa, Senators Maina Ma’aji Lawan (Borno State), Kabiru Gaya (Kano), Ahmed Lawan (Yobe), Omar Hambagda (Borno), Mohammed A. Mohammed (Bauchi), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, former Edo State Governor and Deputy National Chairman (South), Prince Abubakar Audu, ex-Kogi State Governor, Dr Yusuf Musa, Deputy National Chairman (North), Shettima Ali, National Secretary, Emmanuel Eneuku, National Publicity Secretary, Chief George Moghalu, former National Secretary and now Vice-National Chairman (South-East), David Umoru, Niger State governorship candidate in the 2007 elections, Mohammed Ali Ndume, Minority Leader, House of Representatives, and other elected lawmakers in the National and state assemblies.