By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: With just 12 days to the November 6, 2021 Anambra State Governorship election, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has expressed the Commission’s determination to proceed with the election as scheduled.
Prof. Yakubu who made this known at a special meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on the Anambra Governorship election, said the safety and protection of voters, INEC personnel, accredited observers, the media and materials are cardinal considerations in any election.
He further noted that the Commission has been assured by the security agencies of a secure environment for the election.
The INEC Chairman expressed confidence that professionalism and neutrality exhibited by the security agencies in the Edo and Ondo elections will be replicated in Anambra State.
While reassuring the registered voters in Anambra State that the choice of the next Governor lies in their hands, he urged all and sundry to play their part in ensuring a free, fair, credible and peaceful Governorship election in Anambra State.
For his part, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno, reassured the general public that the security agencies are going to do everything within their power to ensure that the people of Anambra State undergo this exercise without any incident.
While noting that security agencies have already done most of what they are supposed to do, he said all the law enforcement agencies have been charged to conduct themselves in a manner that will command the general widespread respect of all the people of Anambra state and by extension, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said, “They have been charged to exhibit the highest level of professionalism, patience, perseverance, as well as self restraint. We have been told to operate within the confines of the law, and not to go out and exhibit tendencies that would jeopardize this exercise.
“In the same vein, I want to offer a word of brotherly advice to our brothers and sisters in Anambra State who may want to use means and methods that are unorthodox and that are unusual to destabilize an already delicate situation, to please think again.
“We are all eager to achieve results in this election that will be acceptable to everybody. I don’t think it will be helpful to anyone to go out and ignite something that might cause pain for the good people of Anambra State under whatever disguise, please think again”, he said.
He emphasized that although the law enforcement agencies are expected to operate in accordance with the requirements of their profession, they will not sit by idly and allow people to start looting, destroying public property, and resorting to not just intimidation, terrorizing people bit possibly arson and even homicide. This will not be accepted.
“Law enforcement agencies have been asked to watch out for such elements. Please, I’m appealing to you, stay within your wards, your local government and let us have a peaceful election”, he noted.
Meanwhile, Prof Yakubu in the meeting welcomed two National Commissioners who were sworn-in Monday afternoon by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The National Commissioners are—Kunle Cornelius Ajayi, a Professor of Political Science at the Ekiti State University and Muhammad Sani Kallah, a retired Professor of Ecology and Range Management at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and they will be representing the South West and North West geo-political zones respectively.