By Francis Onyeukwu
None of the 18 political parties vying in the Nov.6 Anambra governorship elections has launched its campaigns, 21 days after the time-table of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) time table has indicated Aug. 8 as the commencement date of campaigns for the elections.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) checks revealed that although INEC had fixed the date for the commencement of campaigns for the election, even APGA, the ruling party in the state, was yet to announce the dates for their campaign, while some others are embroiled in litigations.
Mr Solomon Izuka, an Awka based politician, who spoke to NAN, said that non commencement of campaigns three weeks after the official commencement date for campaigns was not politically healthy, as the situation could fuel untoward rivalry in the heat of the election.
Izuka, however, attributed the situation to two factors, litigations involving the big parties, and low financial capacity of some other parties.
“First, some political parties like APGA, APC and PDP are in court which has created uncertainty on when their candidates will start campaigns, while others are ‘feather weight’ parties that have less financial capacity to fund campaigns”, he said.
Mr Obi Nduka, an Awka resident, also noted that the late start of the campaign was a danger sign as politicians might be banking on fraudulent means to win the election.
Nduka challenged those vying for the election to market themselves to the people by rolling out their manifestoes to the electorate, saying “that is the sure way to strengthen our democracy.”
When contacted, Mr C-Don Adinuba, Director, Media, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo Governorship Campaign Council, told NAN on Saturday, via SMS, that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was yet to fix a date for the start of its campaign.
Earlier, Adinuba, who doubles as the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, had announced that the party would meet on Aug. 28 to fine-tune arrangements for the campaign.
In a similar vein, the Director, Media, Dr Obiora Okonkwo Campaign Council, Mr Afam Ofomata said Zenith Labour Party chieftains were still putting heads together to work out plans for the commencement of the campaign.
“Our governorship candidate is ready to start his campaigns and once we start, we will visit all the 21 Local Government Areas and 326 wards”, he said.Chief Bartho Igwedibia, state Chairman of the Accord Party, however, revealed that the party’s candidate was still ‘understudying the terrain’, but would soon commence his campaigns.