Ahead of the gubernatorial election in Anambra State, Governors from the South East have urged residents to confidently go out on Saturday, November 6, and vote for any candidate of their choice.
In a statement by the Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, the governors say they are aware of the present challenges but also know that measures have been put in place to ensure that the election is conductive peacefully.
Security has been a major issue in the build up to the polls, however, the South East Governors assured that they are working with security agencies, local security personnel and leaders of various communities, to protect the lives of the people.
Speaking about the sit-at-home orders by various groups of agitators, the governors disclosed that they are in dialogue with leaders of the various groups in a bid to ensure that they desist from disturbing the peace.
The governors thanked Ohaneze Ndigbo for proffering various solutions regarding the agitation, noting that they will meet with the Federal Government on the issues including deploying political solutions in the case of Nnamdi Kanu which they say has already been initiated.
They also thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for their determination to hold the Anambra election, promising to support and help the electoral body to ensure a free, fair, and violence-free election.
The statement from the South East Governors comes a few hours after Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, ordered the restriction of vehicular movement in Anambra State.
The IGP in a statement issued on Thursday said the restriction is part of measures aimed at protecting the sanctity of the electoral process on November 6.
According to the statement, there would be no movement of vehicles in and out of Anambra State from 11:59 pm on Friday, November 5 to 11:59 pm on Saturday, November 6.
“The IGP noted that the restriction order has become necessary following pointers from the Election Security Threats Assessments conducted by the Force which indicate a high likelihood of infiltration by criminally-minded individuals to Anambra State, before, during and after the polls,” the statement read.
“The IGP further noted that the measure would also avail security forces a firm grip of the State to checkmate the movement of political thugs and touts, and prevent the free flow, circulation and use of illicit arms and hard drugs throughout the period and beyond.”
He equally enjoined officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), accredited observers and journalists, and other authorized officials to go about their lawful duties as it relates to the elections, provided they observe all relevant rules guiding their deployment including the visible display of their accreditation tags.
This is even as the police chief assured that police officers and other security personnel deployed for the election will be appropriately supervised to ensure they carry out their responsibilities in the most humane, firm and professional manner especially to emergency service providers such as fire-fighters and ambulance services.
Baba enjoined citizens particularly motorists and travellers who may want to use the routes within Anambra State during the period of the restrictions to seek alternative routes and see the inconveniences as part of sacrifices toward the collective sustenance of our democracy.
Below is a full statement as put out by the South East Governor’s Forum.
PRESS RELEASE BY SOUTH EAST GOVERNORS’ FORUM ON SECURITY SITUATION IN SOUTH EAST
- We are aware of the various illegal orders of sit-at-home by different groups of state agitators for our people of South East to sit at home every Monday and from 5th to 10th November 2021.
- Whereas we have identified some of the spokespersons of some of these groups and we have been engaging them to stop all forms of violence and illegalities in South East and allow South East leaders to address all issues raised by them, we are however working with security agencies, our local security and our leaders to protect the lives of our people and to address all issues raised.
- We thank Ohaneze Ndigbo for a good job they did through their various committees in raising various solutions towards addressing all issues raised by our young children. South East Governors are studying their reports with the elders and leaders of the various South East States and very soon, we will be meeting with the Federal Government of Nigeria on these issues including deploying political solutions in the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu which we have already initiated.
- We thank our religious leaders, Conference of Bishops and Archbishops of South East, the traditional institutions of South East and Christian Association of Nigeria of South East for their interventions and mediations on this matter. We will work with them to achieve the desired result for our people and Nigeria.
- We plead with all security agencies deployed for the Anambra election to please secure the lives of our people in Anambra State while playing within the rules of their engagements. We are aware that the insecurity in South East has gone beyond IPOB. Cultists, armed robbers and kidnappers have recruited themselves and are using the name of IPOB to be killing innocent citizens. We will not allow this to continue.
- We thank the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for their determination to hold the Anambra election on 6th November 2021. We will give them every support and shall help them to ensure a free, fair and violence-free election. We, therefore, ask our people to go out and vote for candidates of their choice as we have been assured of adequate security measures to secure their lives and properties.
- We are confident that through our mediation, that of religious leaders, Ohaneze Ndigbo and traditional rulers, IPOB will see reasons to call off all sit-at-home orders including the recent one of 5th to 10th November 2021. We as South East Governors are committed to political solutions over the present situation in South East and this will be achieved faster if all the illegal sit-at-home orders and violence by the various state agitators are stopped in South East.
- We wish Anambra people a peaceful election on 6th November 2021.
Engr. David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE,
Governor, Ebonyi State
& Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum”
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