Pandemonium as ANA suspends election over alleged faulty process



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Pandemonium as ANA suspends election over alleged faulty process

By Evelyn Osagie



The election of new executives of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has been suspended following allegations of corruption.

The exercise was slated for the 38th ANA international convention in Enugu State at the weekend.



Since decisions could not be reached on how to conduct the election, past ANA president, Prof Remi Raji, told delegates after a long deliberation that ran into the night the exercise was postponed.

He said: “After deliberation between the five-man panel led by Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and the 25 ANA branch chairmen, it was agreed that election is postponed, and would within the next 180 days as enshrined in the ANA constitution. The place or state where it would be held would be communicated to us by our chairmen”.

The four presidential aspirants were Ahmed Maiwada, Chike Ofili, Ofonime Inyang and Camilus Uka.

Pandemonium broke out when some of the presidential candidates raised eyebrow over what they described as “faulty” and corrupt electoral process and officials.

There were also allegations of some presidential candidates engaging in cash tirade.

Delegates blamed the outgoing ANA president, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, who had led the association for two terms whose tenure elapsed for the development.

“It was indeed a show of shame. We are disappointed at how things turned out. Beginning from the opening ceremony, there had been hint of trouble when some candidates were lobbying people with money and some freebies. And Abdullahi is to blame,” a past national executive, who does not want his name in print, said.

Abdullahi denied all accusations, saying it was a calculated attempt by a few to disrupt the process.

He said: “Leadership is not a “do or die” affair. ANA is an association of intellectuals, anyone vying for any leadership position must do so with a mind to serve. We know of those who paid for people’s accommodation and were sharing money. Why what for? It is indeed unfortunate.”

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Trouble started over the decision of who would form members of the election panel as the ANA congress kicked against Abdullahi constituting a panel involving some members of ANA board of trustees.

A new panel was constituted with Prof Adimora-Ezeigbo as chairman; Mr Odia Ofeimun; Prof Raji, Diego Okenyodo and chairman of Lagos ANA branch, Yemi Adebiyi.

Fracas however, broke out during the start of the election over the accreditation process which involved delegates being sent out of the hall with some alleged DSS officials totting guns.

Further displeased and aggravated by the discrepancies of the list of delegates qualified to vote, the swarm of writers protested, calling for the cancellation of the election.

“This was a ploy to disenfranchised us. Why would they have two different lists and only 9 of our members out of 17 duly paid for was on them. Where did the eight disappear to?” asked delegates from ANA Akwa Ibom branch.

This followed the calling of their names from two lists which they said was doctored to favour a particular presidential candidate.

The day ended with the suspension of the election by the panel following a three-hour deliberation between the Adimora-Ezeigbo-led panel and the 25 ANA branch chairmen.

Pandemonium as ANA suspends election over alleged faulty process

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