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Press Release: ASPOF Kicks Against November 16 Election Date In Anambra State

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The Anambra State Public Officers and Elders Forum (ASPOF), which is a high-powered body of the topmost elite members of Anambra State origin resident in the federal capital city, has kicked against the November 16th date fixed by the INEC for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State, saying that the date coincided with the date that had been picked earlier for an equally important event in the state.
According to Chief Dr. Simon Okeke (Ochendo), the chairman of ASPOF, arrangements by the body, in conjunction with similar groups in the country and the Diaspora to host a befitting birthday and immortalization celebrations for the first president of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe on that day, which happens to be both his birthday and burial date, have reached very advanced stages. The forum, therefore, according to the chairman insists that it would be insensitive of INEC to fix the gubernatorial election on that day on which the prominent founding father of the nation would be honoured and celebrated in the state.
At a meeting last Tuesday to discuss the conflict that was brought about by the announcement of the election date by INEC, ASPOF members observed that whereas the arrangements for the birthday and immortalization programme of the Great Zik have been on for more than a year now, with a lot of commitments which involve many people and groups inside and outside the country, INEC could conveniently shift the election date without breaching any constitutional or legal provisions.
Members further observed that the 2010 gubernatorial election in Anambra State took place on February 6th of that year and was timely enough for the commencement of a new gubernatorial tenure on March 15th 2010. They noted the provisions of the Electoral Act which require elections to hold not earlier than 90 days and 30 days before the date of the handover and declared that if the election was moved forward by one week, no harm would be caused to any quarters.
The Forum has raised a very powerful team, led by the chairman to initiate contact and subsequently liaise with INEC with the view to getting the Commission to shift the date of the gubernatorial election to another date which would not in any way conflict with any other important activity in the state, to enable the people troop out en masse to perform that very important civic duty.
ASPOF which draws its members from serving and retired top public officers, senior professionals, businessmen and women, top politicians, captains of the organized private sector as well as serving and retired senior military and police personnel currently has Chief Dr. Simon Okeke (Ochendo), former chairman of the Police Service Commission as its chairman with the retired AVM Canice Umenwaliri, former minister of Communications as his deputy.

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Coleman Uba
Public Relations Officer

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