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Anambra guber election: INEC expresses security concerns



…Says banditry, kidnaping pose serious threat
…APC yet to submit name of candidate

INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised fresh fears for the Anambra gubernatorial election scheduled for November 6.

  Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, raised the alarm in his speech during the 2021 annual Abubakar Momoh Memorial Lecture, which held under the theme: ‘Security and Election Implications for Anambra State Governorship and 2023 General Elections’ in Abuja, yesterday.

  Reiterating his promise that the  election would hold despite recent attacks on its office in Anambra State, Yakubu explained that INEC’s concern was not really on ripple effects of the destruction of the commission’s facilities, but the safety of voters and its officials as well as electoral materials.

  He described the numerous attacks on the commission’s offices and properties as alarming, adding that between 2019 and now, there have been attacks on 42 INEC’s facilities across the country.

  “More immediately, we are equally concerned about the Anambra Governorship Election that is scheduled for 6 November, 2021, especially following the attack on the head office. The commission, in collaboration with all stakeholders is determined to tackle this challenge. Definitely, we cannot face it alone, this is why voter education and information, constant dialogue, community outreaches, deliberations and assessment fora such as this public lecture will continue. The Nigerian public must own the desire for democracy and peaceful conduct of elections,” he said.

  National Commissioner and Chairman of Board of Electoral Institute (BEI), Mohammed Kudu Haruna, expressed similar fears in his opening remarks.

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  Blaming insecurity arising from banditry and kidnaping in South East as new threat to free, fair and credible election in Anambra State, Haruna said that with escalation of tension, the electoral umpire may be put in a position where it may find it difficult to carry out its duties seamlessly in line with international best practices.

  He also  projected that not only conducting Anambra governorship election is threatened by rising insecurity but also the 2023 general election may risk suffering same fate unless the challenge is brought under control in time.

  In a related development, INEC) yesterday said that All Progressives Congress (APC) was yet to submit the name of its nominated candidate for the November 6 Anambra governorship election.

  A statement issued under ‘Timetable and Schedule of Activities for Anambra State Governorship 2021’ by  INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said though the commission did not disqualify any candidate for the parties’s primary elections, nobody’s name has been submitted by APC as its flag bearer.

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