Chairman of the All Progressives Congress APC, Abia State chapter has said Abia would greatly benefit from the Electoral bill newly signed into law by the President.
Dr Dr. Kingsley Ononogbu, who is the chairman of the party, I’m a press release, expressed delight that most of the items contained in the Act addresses the weaknesses in Nigeria’s electoral system that has led to the perennial rigging of elections in the country.
Thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the bold step, he showed optimism that the APC would win the 2023 governorship election in the state.
His words “Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress is, by this development, more confident than ever that the 2023 General Elections will be free and fair, and above all, won by our great party.
“In past electoral exercises, Abia State has consistently been riddled with electoral malpractices and fraud; an unfortunate development which has perennially kept Abia on the lowest rung of the development ladder as the most backward state in the country.
“Under stolen leadership and gross incompetence of the leaders who enter Government House through the back door, we in Abia have had to endure several years of bad leadership and gross underdevelopment.
“Now, by this latest development, there will be no fear that an INEC commissioner will be forced to declare fake results for fear of being harmed, since the new bill takes care of that.
“Clause 65 of the electoral bill empowers INEC authority to evaluate declarations and returns made under dubious circumstances. The measure will radically alter the results management process and effectively discourage politicians from pressuring election workers to declare manufactured, bogus election results that can only be disputed in court.
“Also, the issue of bloated election results have denied Ndi Abia the opprtunity of getting the right leadership.
“But that will never happen again, thanks to Mr President.
“Overvoting happens when the total of votes cast in a polling unit in an election exceeds the total number of accredited voters in that polling unit.
“Electoral bill, Clause 51 stipulates that the “total number of accredited voters” will become a deciding factor in the election’s legality.
“This means that no fake votes will be admissible in results declaration by INEC.
“Political neutrality has become a neccecity for INEC staff. Therefore no member of any political party will work for INEC and influence outcome of election results. This is bad news for election riggers in Abia State.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Clause 8(5) grants political neutrality to INEC personnels. This implies that a politician or member of a political party cannot be an INEC official.
“Furthermore, the Clause states that any INEC official with political affiliations commits an offence and is subject to a fine of N5,000,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both, if convicted.
“Electronic accreditation of voters in Clause 47 in the Electoral Act will also ensure that Abians can be electronically accredited using Smart Card Readers or any other technical equipment determined by INEC. This way, no one will be disenfranchised for the dubious goal of rigging elections.
“We in Abia are particularly delighted that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill seems to have us in mind. Ndi Abia will perhaps be the biggest benefactors from this new development. Never again will our mandate be stolen, never again will Abians groan under incompetent and confused leadership.
“I call on all Abians to support the APC in the state, and join our party now. Not only are we pledging to protect your votes, we will ensure that the best hands form the next government and give Ndi Abia the best leadership“, he stated.