• INEC: Election’ll be most transparent
In the next 20 days ahead of the November governorship election, there are strong indications that there is going to be a 10 million man protest against the plot to manipulate the exercise and against what has been described as the politically motivated killings in the area and South East in general.
This is in reaction to the alleged $400 million bribe said to have been offered to some top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to manipulate the electoral process.
Rising from a summit organized by the Civil Society Committee For Anti- Fraud Election Security in conjunction with the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) ahead of the election, participants warned that the protest that would erupt in the state would be unimaginable.
They further accused the Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd) Peace Committee of being silent over the politically motivated killings in Anambra and other parts of the South East.
The leader of Anambra State Association in Germany, Mr Joseph Ebelechukwu, who spoke to reporters yesterday said: “On behalf of our people in Germany, we wish to state that the killings in Anambra State are politically motivated and targeted at rigging the election and we in our communiqué in Hamburg have resolved to embark on a 10 million man protest that would last for days and that the candidate that benefited from the manipulation would not be governor of Anambra State.
“Anambra State should be left alone and allow our people to elect their governor and not to intimidate our people and those who are boasting that the election is done and dusted are just joking and the kind of resistance that they will face is one that not even the Inspector General of Police or the Army Generals can stop us and we urge everyone to go out on November 6th and vote and let us see who would stand on your way”, he said.
The Chairman World Igbo Congress, Prof Anthony Ejiofor, said: “We cannot go to bed because there is fire on the mountain.
Anambra must not be allowed to sleep because of the machinations of those who have continued to hold our collective interest hostage because of the agenda of the Northern imperialists that wants to Islamize us after they rig the election in their favour.
“If we allow Anambra State to fall, the rest of the South East would be doomed in perpetuity.
The South-South and South-West would be doomed forever and we are going to resist it with all that we have.”
Chairman, Igbo World Assembly, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwue, stated that Anambra needs free, fair and credible election in November and going by what the Chief Of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, said “it has become clear that there is selective handling of the security situation in the country by petting the bandits and terrorists in the North and using the hammer on the South East and we commend him for that” National Publicity Secretary of the Niger Delta Forum, Ken Robinson noted that they are going to adopt the style used in Edo state governorship election, entitled, “Edo is not Lagos” and we are saying that Anambra is not Imo State.
“Anambra is the light of the nation and nobody can impose an unpopular person as governor here and it is unfortunate that Anambra is under a siege by desperate politicians that want to win by all means and that will not happen.”
Former Minister for Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anienih, said that there is a deliberate attempt at cowing the masses and instilling fear on the electorate before the the gubernatorial election, so that they will write the results but “we are going to resist collectively. “Be it known to those people that Anambra State is not for sale and no amount of money or intimidation can force us to accept an unpopular candidate or someone that rigged election if the person will succeed.”
The Convener and coordinator of Civil Society Committee For Anti-Fraud Election And Security in Anambra state, Comrade Kennedy Iyere, accused the Abdusalami Abubakar Peace Committee of keeping quiet in the midst of the political killings in Anambra State.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says the November 6 Anambra governorship election will be embarrassingly transparent as it has put facilities in place to achieve an all-inclusive electoral process. INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Anambra State, Dr Nwachukwu Orji, made the assertion in Awka, yesterday, during a voter education and sensitisation forum for Persons with disabilities (PWDs) and Women groups.
The programme was organised in collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening.
Orji, who was represented by INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Samuel Nimem, said that the commission had successfully carried out most of the activities on schedule for the election. According to him, “this election will debunk all the ideas and beliefs that INEC rigs election or commits electoral fraud. “INEC is ready on every stage for the election.
The electoral materials that got burnt recently in an attack have been replaced; non-sensitive materials have been distributed to all local government areas and training of officials and ad-hoc staff is ongoing as I speak to you. “We have pasted and presented voters’ register to the political parties fielding candidates. We have published the final list of candidates and we have been engaging stakeholders to ensure security at polling units.
“We have increased polling units to 5,720 to increase access to all voters and we are carrying out aggressive voter education and sensitization, appealing to residents to exercise their civic responsibilities. “With all facilities in place and with the electronic transmission of results, I tell you that Anambra election will be embarrassingly transparent.
This will build confidence in our electoral system,” he said. Orji urged PWDs to actively participate in all aspects of electoral process as the commission had made adequate provisions in terms of voting aids. “PWDs are very important citizens.
So, we give them special attention by creating an inclusive environment. “You need to participate fully in the electoral process because you are all citizens of Nigeria and have right to vote and be voted for. I assure you that we are doing all we can to ensure your safety,” he said.
Orji urged residents not to feel unconcerned about election matters, saying it is an opportunity to vote in the candidate of their choice. Also speaking, Mrs Amina Yahaya, from IFES, said the organisation was committed to any course that would advance the development of PWDs and women.
“We are supporting this programme because we want the vulnerable groups to be actively involved in electoral process because they have the right to vote the leader of their choice,” she said.