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NOA renews call for peace, mass participation in Anambra guber poll



…Rounds off electoral progs

COUNTDOWN to Anambra gubernatorial election, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Anambra State Directorate has concluded its mobilisation and sensitisation programmes towards ensuring that the greater percentage of the eligible voters in the state fully participate in the November 6 election with community house-to-house engagement, a new approach adopted by the agency to beat the security challenges in the state.

  The State Director, NOA, Anambra State Directorate, Charles Nwoji, made this known in his office in Awka while briefing the press on the activities of the agency as regards the November 6 governorship election.

  The  director explained that since May this year, the agency had been engaging the critical stakeholders to ensure that the entire electoral process was a success, expressing optimism that the agency’s activities so far would result in a high turnout of the voters on the election day,

 He said, “as an organisation, NOA has always tried to ensure that the state records a high number as much as possible in voters’ registration and voting on elections days. We have been on this, never letting any ground unexplored to ensure that the greatest number of Anambra citizens, who are legible to vote participate in electoral processes.

 “We divided our programme process into three phases … the first is sensitisation on the need for participation in registration of voters through the media and other stakeholders’ forums. The second is community engagement and mobilisation focused on senatorial zones with Onitsha, Aguleri, Awka, Nnewi, Ekwuluobia, and Abagana as sensitisation centres.

 “We conducted well attended forums, which comprised the representatives of various governmental and nongovernmental organisations, community and religious leaders, public servants among others. There, we exchanged ideas on what is to be done, and how it is to be done.

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  “Now, we are on the third phase, which is community, ward and household-to-household engagement – cell to cell, a new approach we adopted whereby our over 150 staffers moved from community to community, household to housed, market to market, and church to church, to ensure that they engage the people in small numbers.

   Beyond these, we have within the past five months engaged a number of organisations, including INEC, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution; we collaborated with them, for one purpose of enlarging the total votes in Anambra State.

  “The good thing is that the collaboration paid off as we made inroad in the communities and other target groups; and I expect that the result will show in the turnout of the voters in the election,” he said.             

  Pointing out that Anambra has not been known for violence, NOA boss renewed his call for peace and mass participation in the election, saying that the security agencies had consistently expressed readiness to guarantee adequate protection of the voters during the election.

  He said, “in our interactions with the security agents, they repeatedly showed their readiness to protect those, who will come out on November 6 to vote, and also ensure that there will be no anarchy. Therefore, I continue to appeal to all and sundry, politicians, agitators, unknown gunmen, to give peace a chance to save the image of the state.”

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