The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned political parties and politician in Anambra State against embarking on violent electioneering campaign heralding the November 6 governorship election in the state.
The electoral-body it was important that the parties and politician eschew violence and intimidation in their electioneering, as part of measure to maintain peace and orderliness, adding that resorting to such could worsen security situation in the state.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said that the recent pockets of violence recorded in the state had necessitated the need to ensure Anambra was safe for all residents and that the forthcoming election success cannot be guaranteed in an hostile environment.
Speaking on Friday in Abuja during an emergency meeting with political parties, the electoral umpire boss assured the commission’s readiness for the poll, adding that INEC had recovered from attacks on its in the state.
According to him, the buildings have been completely reconstructed and renovated in readiness for the election. All the non-sensitive materials have either been procured afresh or sourced from neighbouring States and our Zonal stores. We are working assiduously with security agencies to ensure that such an attack does not happen again.
“However, security remains a major challenge to our preparations. For the political parties, these heinous attacks have truncated campaigns, making voter mobilization and sensitization impossible.
“Consequently, Anambra State is not in the usual election mood. It is in the light of the security situation in the State that the Commission held an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) last Tuesday. The meeting was frank and productive. We are assured of the determination of the security agencies to protect voters, election staff, election observers, the media, transport providers and candidates during the election.
“Already, security around INEC facilities in the State has been ramped up. We are also confident that the heightened deployment of security officials, which is expected in the coming weeks, will further give citizens the confidence to turn up and vote on Election Day. We shall continue to work with the security agencies to ensure that the election is successful and violence-free.
“I wish to appeal to all political parties and candidates not to exacerbate the feeling of insecurity in Anambra State through unguarded utterances and actions. This could compound the security situation and make the work of the Commission, political parties and security agencies even more difficult. It may also lead to voter apathy.
“This moment calls for statesmanship and maturity hence the decision to convene this emergency meeting. We are confident that the outcome of this engagement will be productive and helpful to the Commission and political parties as we continue to prepare for the Anambra Governorship holding on Saturday 6th November 2021”, he added.