Anambra State’s governorship election on November 6 will proceed as scheduled, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Several media outlets have expressed concern about the impact of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) activities in the state on the elections.
As a result of the state’s chaos, politicians went into hiding and suspended campaigns.
According to Victor Ayodele Aluko, Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, the emergency Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting will consider among other things how to proceed with the Anambra election amid the uncertainty.
When asked whether INEC was considering postponing the election due to the insecurity in the state, he replied that the answer would come after the meeting.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of INEC, assured the meeting that the election would not be postponed.
At the last ICCES meeting on 9 September 2021, the committee listened to updates and reviewed preparations for the election; a major concern raised by members was the security situation in the state and neighboring states in general and what this might mean for preparation and possibly election conduct.
Our last meeting ended with the situation having deteriorated dramatically. Victims have lost their lives, and property has been destroyed. The stated aim of many of the attackers, according to the reports we have received, is that the governorship election scheduled for 6 November 2021 not take place.
The commission is concerned about this. We are deeply concerned that specific electoral facilities and materials could once more be targeted for attack. Our State Office at Awka was attacked in May this year, and all the non-sensitive materials assembled for the election at the time were destroyed.
Additionally, our store, collation center, and the main office were either totally or substantially damaged. We also lost several election vehicles.
Our security agencies are presently facing immense challenges in Anambra State, involving not only securing the electoral process, but also enforcing law and order in general.
The security agencies have also become prime targets of these mindless attacks, which is particularly concerning.
To ensure that these hit-and-run attacks do not undermine the electoral process, we will continue to consult with the security agencies and respected opinion leaders in Anambra State.
“To underscore this determination, the commission is implementing two more activities on the Timetable for the election in the coming weeks. On Thursday, 7 October 2021, the register of voters will be presented to political parties in Awka. He added that the commission would publish the final list of candidates the same day.
In addition, he expressed his happiness that the commission has almost fully recovered from the attack, as the destroyed buildings have either been fully repaired or are nearing completion, and the commission has also replaced all of the materials destroyed.
“This rapid recovery has only been possible because this is an off-season election.”. Materials such as the 326 electric generators and vehicles destroyed in the attack have been sourced from neighbouring states.”.
Nevertheless, INEC’s boss acknowledged that if the commission loses essential materials and facilities again, the ongoing preparations will suffer.
Several of the attacks have targeted security officials as well as voters and INEC is concerned for their safety.
The young Nigerians, mostly members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and university students, we plan to deploy for the election deserve assurances of their safety.