…as Police declares readiness, vows to resist pressure from politicians
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Friday, said it does not see the possibility of postponing the Anambra State governorship election scheduled to hold on November 18.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji, who spoke during a dialogue session he held with a coalition of over 70 Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, under the platform of ‘The Situation Room, said he was confident that the electoral body has put adequate machinary in place with a view to ensuring a hitch free election in Anambra state.
Orji however decried that barely 15 days to the election, many electorates in the state had yet to collect their Permanent Voters Card, PVC.
He said that a total of 203,000 new PVCs were printed, out of which 54, 000 were collected within three days after INEC started sharing them.
The Anambra REC further revealed that additional 45, 000 PVCs were also printed to cover for some people that were not captured initially.
He said INEC was optimistic that at least one-third of the printed PVCs would be handed to the owners before the election date, saying the electoral body had embarked on massive sensitization campaign aimed at galvanising the electorates to come out and vote during the election.
Responding to a question on whether INEC is nursing any plan to shift the poll, Orji said: “I don’t see the possibility of postponing the election. The conditions for such postponement does not exist at the moment except something happens”.
The Anambra REC equally allayed fears that INEC could be compromised by politicians.
He said: “This is the very first time that politicians in Anambra are going to the field to look for votes. Formally, they come to INEC to look for votes. Now our office is very dry. They are all in the field talking to the electorates”.
Meantime, on security preparations for the election, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Anambra state, Mr. Mike Okoli, maintained that recent deployment of twenty-three Mobile Police Units (PMF) by the Inspector-General of Police to the command has helped to reduce crime and criminality in the state.
“The effective utilization of these units has helped to ensure that criminal elements relocate from the state before the election and build the confidence of the people of the state on the ability of the police to provide adequate security in the state before, during and after the election”, he added.
He said recent proscription order placed on the Indeginous People of Biafra, IPOB, has robustly boosted security, peace and order in Anambra State.
“The group which hitherto threatened that there will be no election in the state has virtually disappeared, thus, giving room for a peaceful environment for the conduct of the gubernatorial election in the state.
“In addition, the Operation Python Dance II (Egwu-Eke II) has put the final nail on the coffinof miscreants in the state. The Command is therefore intensifying efforts to sustain the existing calm for a peaceful, crime free and credible election in November 18, 2017”.
He said the Command has identified eleven flashpoints in the state where it would emplace extra security for peaceful conduct of the election.
Okoli listed the said flashpoints as Aguleri/Umuleri, Anam/Nzam Riverline Area, Achalla, Ajalli, Ekwulobia, Ihialla, Okpoko, Ozubulu, Onitsha, Umunze and Otuocha.
He said a total number of 21, 084 policemen would be deployed for the election, saying any officer that compromise standard with politiciand would be severely dealt with.
“It is important to note that the Police are usually accused of being used by politicians to intimidate opponents and to rig elections.
“We are mindful of this allegation, and have therefore educated our men to discharge their functions with keen awareness of the national responsibilty entrusted to them without fear or favour.
“They have been warned to display the highest level of integtity, transparency and professionalism in the conduct of the election”.
The post Why we won’t postpone Anambra governorship poll – INEC appeared first on Vanguard News.