Chief Aja Agha, a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has warned political parties, candidates and their supporters to shun acts capable of plunging the state into needless electoral violence in the 2023 polls.
Agha, acting chairman of APGA in Ebonyi advised at a news conference on Wednesday in Abakaliki adding that politicians must learn to play by the rules and eschew actions that could endanger democracy.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the provision of a level playing field for all the participating political parties and their candidates.
“The electoral body as an independent umpire should maintain neutrality, remain unbiased and ensure that no preferential treatment is given to a particular candidate or candidates of any political party.
” The 2023 general election is another litmus test for Prof Mahmood Yakubu and INEC has a greater role to play in preserving and consolidating our country’s democracy by ensuring that the 2023 polls are not compromised.
“As the political campaigns are about to begin, it’s expedient that INEC as the regulator of activities of all the political parties sees to it that party campaigns are issue-based and in line with extant electoral laws.
” Above all, we must collectively work towards promoting credible, transparent and violence-free election in the state,” Agha said.
On the APGA’s chances ín the election, the acting chairman noted that the leadership of APGA from the ward through the local government, zonal and state levels had strategised to ensure an all-out win for the party in the various elective posts.
“APGA led-government will usher in a new dawn in Ebonyi and the leadership of our great party is working to ensure that nothing will stop the party from emerging victorious in 2023.
“APGA government will pursue people-oriented programmes and policies anchored on job creation; empowerment and industrialisation,” he added.
Agha further applauded Chief Edozie Njoku’s led National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party for being above board and for repositioning APGA.
“Njoku has demonstrated great leadership prowess as the national chairman which has made our party transit from a regional party to a national party with membership spread cutting across the six geopolitical zones of the country,” he added.
Agha who spoke at the May 2019 APGA Owerri Convention that elected Njoku and other national executives appealed to the INEC chairman to respect the decision of the party members and court judgements that affirmed Njoku as the authentic national chairman of APGA.
“Our party firmly believes in the supremacy of the rule of law and the judiciary.
” The various courts of competent jurisdiction in the land including the Supreme have adjudicated on the leadership issue.
“The courts in all their rulings and judgements, have affirmed Njoku-led NEC that emerged from the Owerri convention as the authentic NEC but, sadly, INEC through its national chairman has refused to recognise Njoku as APGA chairman,” he said.