Daily Independent Online.
Tuesday, April 8, 2003.
CAN carpets politicians over shoddy preparation for eletions
By Okey Maduforo, Awka
The Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) in Anambra State
has blamed the poor preparation of the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) for the forthcoming elections on the ambition of some
incumbent political office holders to return for a second term at all costs .
Archbishop Maxwell Anikwenwa, chairman Christian Association
of Nigeria in the state, while stating the association’s position on the
political climate in the country also berated the Federal Government for
misplaced priorities, saying that instead of governors and the president
carrying out their constitutional role of governing the people, they resorted
to canvassing for a second tenure to the detriment of the electoral commission.
Anikwenwa lamented that INEC is being starved of funds;
adding that government has not given the commission a free hand in most
exercises conducted by it.
“The Federal Government has not shown interest in a hitch-free general election. All they are
interested in is their re-election bid. Funds are not even made available to
the commission and as a result of this, elections for this year may not be
possible,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Catholic Archbishop of
Onitsha Diocese, Rev. Albert Obiefuna said the association has concluded plans
to fight any form of rigging in the forthcoming elections through a monitoring
team already put in place.
He alleged that there was a plan by some politicians to rig
the elections, saying that voting
cards were carried away on the registration day despite INEC’s plans to
ensure that all qualified voters were registered.
Obiefuna, however, dismissed fears by the Arewa Consultative
Forum that the general elections may lead to a military coup, saying that with
the new awareness created by the present democratic dispensation, a change of
government through force is not possible.
He urged politicians to examine their conscience before God,
whether their intention is to serve the common good and protect the interest of
the people, stressing the need for sportsmanship in the pursuit of electoral