By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
AFTER a protracted legal and political horse trading that lasted for over two years, the electorate in Anambra Central senatorial district would today elect a senator to represent the area.
Anambra Central is the only zone that does not have a senator since the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu ordered the removal of Mrs. Uche Ekwunife from the seat because her party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, did not conduct any credible primary.
Her opponent at the 2015 election, Chief Victor Umeh, had challenged the declaration of Ekwunife as a senator for the area by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at the election tribunal and later at the Court of Appeal where Ekwunife was removed and the court also ordered that PDP should not participate in the rerun.
PDP also challenged the ruling at the Federal High Court which again ruled that PDP could present a candidate. This was again appealed by Umeh at the Court of Appeal, which ordered that the earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal in Enugu subsisted and directed INEC to conduct the rerun within 90 days.
For today’s election, 13 candidates were expected to participate, although only Umeh, the candidate of APGA, stood out.
Anambra State government had already restricted movement in all the seven local government areas that make up the zone and the INEC in the state said yesterday that everything had been put in place to ensure a hitch free poll.
The state branch of the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, said it was in full support of the re-run election because the zone had been denied its right for a long time.
Chairman of IPAC in the state, Mr. Barth Igwedibia, who spoke in Awka during a visit to the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji, dissociated the body from a statement credited to some politicians who wanted INEC to reschedule the exercise, describing the action as unpatriotic.
Igwedibia said the association, as an umbrella body of all registered political parties in Nigeria, ,always upheld objectivity in its decisions and actions, regretting that while other states and Senatorial Zones across the country were preparing for another round of quality representation, Anambra Central was still bedeviled with aftermath of 2015 election