No Going Back On Anambra Poll – INEC

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The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has assured the people of Anambra State that the governorship election in the state slated to hold on Saturday will be conducted  across the 21 local government areas of the state as scheduled.

Meanwhile, the commissioner of police in the state and deputy chairman of the Inter Agency Consultative Forum, Mr Echeng Echeng has disclosed that all boundaries linking Anambra State with other neighbouring states will be totally locked down on Thursday night as part of measures to guarantee security within and outside the state during the governorship election.

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The INEC boss and CP Echeng made the disclosures during an Inter Agency Consultative Forum held at the INEC headquarters in Awka, the Anambra State capital yesterday night.

Prof Yakubu stated that  the commission in collaboration with all the security agencies were prepared to ensure that the governorship election was free, fair and credible exercise.

The INEC boss appealed to the security agencies to do everything possible to ensure that sanity and orderliness prevailed in the state before, during and after the governorship election.

The INEC chairman explained that because of the technology deployed for the voters registration, all the new registrants had been contacted on how best to collect their voters cards.

According to him, when INEC issued guidelines for the conduct of Anambra governorship election eleven months ago, it was as if the election would never come.

“This is to assure people of Anambra State that the election is going to be free, fair and credible,” he said.

He also harped on the need for peace accord to be signed today (Wednesday) by all the candidates and their political parties as part of measures to ensure a peaceful exercise.

Mahmood added that the electoral body in alliance with the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, other heads of security agencies, chairmen of political parties, governorship candidates, members of the civil society groups, traditional rulers, religious leaders and the media would converge at the stakeholders meeting where the peace accord would be signed while other key issues relating to the election would be discussed.

Assuring the preparedness of the security forces to provide adequate security to guarantee that voters exercised their civic rights under a peaceful environment, CP Echeng warned those plotting to disrupt the polls or cause confusion to steer clear of the state, vowing that such persons would be rounded up and dealt with decisively according to the law.

He stated that vehicles and movement would not be allowed into the state during the period of lockdown stressing that flashpoints have been identified and that maximum security would be deployed to such areas.

The state commissioner of police also decried the ugly narratives from outsiders about security situation in parts of the state.

He pointed out that about 85 percent of all police assets and personnel are on ground with positive deployment of about 125 anti-riot policemen to each of the 21 local government areas of the state.

“There is enough security to protect lives and property across the agate. It is not going to be a tea party for troublemakers. Of course their camps have been identified and operations are ongoing. We will be on ground to make sure they don’t have access to come out,” he said.

He said the Department of State Services (DSS) are taking necessary actions with intelligence  to take care of situations as they arrive while two Deputy Inspector Generals of Police (DIGs), five Assistant Inspector Generals of Police (AIGs), commissioners of police, the army, Navy, DSS, officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and those of the Federal Road Safety Corps are battle ready for the smooth conduct of the election.

He urged the people of the state to come out en mass to cast their votes to choose the candidate of their choice.