The Independent National Electoral Commission has promised to make the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election the best in the nation’s recent electoral history.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, made the pledge on Thursday during a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja.
The meeting, which attracted leaders of registered political parties, was to appraise preparations for the Anambra election.
Jega said, “Our objective is to make the Anambra governorship election the best so far. But, no matter how hard we try, we alone in INEC cannot succeed without the cooperation of all stakeholders, especially political parties, their candidates and the people of Anambra State.”
Stressing the importance of a credible voter register, he noted that the forthcoming poll in the state would be the benchmark for subsequent elections in the country.
According to him, with the revalidation of the code of conduct by political parties and the planned revalidation of the voter register, the commission was sure of recording tremendous success in the forthcoming poll.
He said, “As we are all aware, the credibility of the voter register goes a long way to ensure the credibility of elections. In this regard, we are prepared to clean up and have a very credible register for Anambra State before the November 16 governorship election.
“Our preparations for the elections include doing continuous voter registration from August 19 to 25 in order to update the register as required by law before the election.
“For all those who have registered, we have their records on the manual register. However, for those whose details are missing on the electronic register (those on the so-called addendum register) or whose details are incomplete, they need to have their registration status updated. It is in this context we have made a review of the voter register for Anambra State a key item on the agenda for today’s meeting.”
Jega promised that the recent revalidation of the code of conduct for political parties would ensure a hitch-free election in Anambra State.
He added, “A few days ago in Minna, virtually all the political parties revalidated the Code of Conduct for political parties. By so doing, they have reaffirmed their commitment to deepening democracy through a considerably reformed electoral process in our country.
“Hence, the Anambra State governorship elections would be the first test case of the practical affirmation of the code of conduct. All parties, candidates and their supporters must demonstrably put all the key aspects of the document into practice: respectable and responsible conduct.
“All the stakeholders must engage in the electoral process in strict compliance with the rules of the game, with decorum, civility, tolerance and mutual respect for one another. Campaigns, voting, among others must be conducted decently, lawfully, peacefully in accordance with the best standards and practices, as well as democratic norms.”