Not less than 10,000 indigenes of Imo North senatorial district have petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the delay in the conduct of the Imo North Senatorial District election into the national assembly.
In a two page letter addressed to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and made available to The Trent on Thursday, May 26, 2016 by leader of the advocacy team, Chibuikem Diala, the group condemned the silence of INEC over the conduct of the postponed election.
In the letter signed by 10,000 Imo North indigenes under the aegis of Okigwe Ekulie and mobilized by Diala who resides in Asaba, the Delta State capital, the group which said it is not clamouring for any political party but a representative at the senate, faulted the action of INEC, maintaining that the action of INEC has shut zone zone from participating in the lawmaking process in Nigeria.
“Following the postponement of the Imo North senatorial rerun election earlier scheduled for February 20,2016 and continued delayed in the conduct of the botched election, we are pained to use this medium to write your commission with a view to voicing out our anger and to also draw your attention to the danger that lies in the continued exclusion of Imo North from the national assembly.
“We refrain to play to the gallery by saying that the reasons given by sponsors of the protest that led to the postponement of the rerun election were imaginary. We also refuse to believe the claim in some quarters that the delay in the conduct of the election is at the behest of some self styled kingmakers from the zone for sinister political purposes not connected to the 2019 Imo governorship race.
“It is indeed very painful to imagine that up till now, over three months after the botched rerun, INEC is yet to make a public statement to the great and discerning people of Okigwe zone, Imo North senatorial district on the election,” the group said.
The group debunked claims of violence in the area, insisting that from evidences available to it, the length and breadth of Imo North senatorial district had serenity for a free, fair and credible senatorial rerun election, adding that the people of Imo North view election as contest of ideas for public good.
It called on INEC to tender an unreserved apology to the people of Imo North for the reasons it adduced for the postponement of the election, saying the postponement was a disappointment to the people of Imo North senatorial district.
“Unfortunately, the continued delay in the conduct of the election implies that the voice of the people of Imo North will not be heard in the senate, the interest of the zone will not be in the front burner of the senate discourse, even as the senate and national assembly take very critical decisions of national importance.
“For us and the people of Okigwe zone, the overriding interest of the zone should not be sacrificed either on the altar of political expediency or in pursuit of narrow selfish agenda of those who operate in the levels of power. One can in all honesty say that the people of Okigwe zone are becoming impatient or irritated over the delay by INEC in fixing a new date for the much expected election,” the statement added.