Everybody all over Nigeria is waiting to watch the drama that will happen in the southeast part of Nigeria, most especially, Anambra State on November 6 amid the threat from the Indigenous people of Biafra IPOB.
Anambra State election is scheduled to hold on November 6 but the IPOB says if its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not released by the DSS, they will be a total lockdown through the southeastern state.
This announcement by the IPOB has triggered fear both in INEC and the electorates as no one will want to be a victim in the hand of the IPOB.
However, some groups have given Nigerians assurance that the election will be conducted peacefully as INEC says they are ready and prepared for the election.
INEC SAYS THEY ARE FULLY READY AND PREPARED FOR ANAMBRA ELECTION
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Panel (INEC), has stated that the commission is prepared for the governorship election in Anambra State scheduled for November 6.
According to the Daily Post, he mentioned this during a meeting with the Joint National Assembly Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters on Wednesday in Abuja, where they discussed how to interact with the commission about the next election.
During a press conference, Yakubu stated, ” We have recovered from the series of attacks on our facilities, and I am pleased to announce that we have deployed all non- sensitive materials to all local government regions.
” As far as the INEC is concerned, we will be ready to go on November 6.
” We have trained the necessary number of ad- hoc staff for the election, and we have also mobilized members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to ensure that materials are distributed efficiently on election day. We have also mobilized members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to ensure that materials are distributed efficiently on election day.
” Regarding the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards in Anambra, the governor stated that ” we have somewhat more than 81, 000 valid registrants” , INEC stated.
According to INEC, approximately 5, 000 people applied for replacement cards, intra- state transfers, and inter- state transfers as a result of the suspension of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in Anambra.
INEC says they are putting the cards together in batches. It will be transferred first thing in the morning on Thursday (Today) to Awka, where it will ensure that all new registrants have their cards before the elections.
Speaking further, INEC said they can rectify the telephone numbers and email addresses of the registrants with the use of technology.
” We will call every one of them and inform them of the location where they may pick up their cards. However, the cards will be sent to Awka on Thursday, (Today)” he explained.
INTER- SOCIETY HUMAN RIGHT GROUP SAYS INEC SHOULD ENSURE ANAMBRA ELECTION IS FREE FROM ‘ LIVING AND DEAD VOTES’
Efforts by stakeholders and political actors in Anambra State to rig the forthcoming governorship election have been warned by Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, the convener of the Southeast Based Coalition of Democracy & Human Rights Organizations, and Chairman of the International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety), who is also the state’ s commissioner for information.
According to The Sun, he said that, since the return to civilian control in 1999, the governorship election in Anambra had been decided by either ‘ live votes’ or ‘ dead votes’ at various times.
In his explanation, Umeagbalasi stated that ‘ dead votes’ are generated as a result of low voter turnout and the use of a crooked voter registration list. Votes are deemed to be ‘ dead’ to the extent that they do not originate from independent and conscientious voters (‘ living votes’ ).
They are instead produced from the bulk downloading of purchased Permanent Voters’ Cards or the thump- printing of ballot papers, or the combination of the two, using false names and counterfeit biometrics. Voter apathy or low voter participation supports election rigging, which has been a problem in the state since 2003 and has gotten worse since then.
The State’ s Voters’ Register was substantially contaminated during the April 2003 governorship election, with false identities and non- living things and symbols being listed as ” registered voters, ” and Dr. Chris Ngige was granted nearly one million ” dead votes. ” The same decision was eventually overturned by the courts, which recognized Peter Obi’ s 235, 000 ” live votes. ” The pattern was maintained in the subsequent elections that resulted in the election of the current Governor, Willie Obiano.
Despite blatant threats of violence by politicians, the army, and the police, Anambra voters can still cast their ballots without fear of being attacked. Voter proximity has improved slightly as a result of the addition of 1, 100 polling units, bringing the total number of polling booths to 5, 720, up from the 4, 608 that were used in the 2019 general election according to the group.
If INEC had carried out its statutory and constitutional responsibilities and implemented a combination of manual and electronic voting in Anambra, these threats would have had little impact on the state’ s voters.
The responsibility falls on religious and community leaders to get involved and make certain that independent and conscientious voters are encouraged to cast their ballots in the upcoming election.
From the foregoing examination, it may be concluded that a credible winner in the Anambra State governorship election on November 6 would be determined by the total number of valid and ‘ living votes’ cast in the election, which is estimated to be 500, 000 votes.
In any case, we are not surprised if INEC declares ” 1. 5 million total votes cast” and allocates ” 1. 2 million votes to the winner” as the result of its election process. This was the situation in both the heavily manipulated Anambra governorship election held in April 2003 and the illegitimate Anambra governorship election held on April 14, 2007.
This means that once the total number of votes cast in the 6th November 2021 Anambra governorship election exceeds the maximum of 500, 000 votes, it is a clear indication that the governorship election has been massively rigged, according to Umeagbalasi, through the massive uploading of procured PVCs using INEC’ s ICT Department and the thump- printing of ballot papers according to the group.
ASARI DOKUBO SAYS DESPITE IPOB THREAT, ANAMBRA ELECTION WILL HOLD PEACEFULLY
The de facto traditional administration of Biafra, led by Asari Dokubo, a former militant leader, has guaranteed Anambra State residents that the governorship election scheduled for November 6 will take place.
According to the Daily Post, the Dokubo- led customary administration has stated that the election will take place even if Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is not released from detention.
Uche Okafor- Mefor, the group’ s Head of Information and Communication, issued a warning to IPOB members about restricting citizens the right to exercise their civic duties.
IPOB has declared a seven- day sit- at- home demonstration in the South- East commencing on November 5, which would continue until he is released.
The sit- at- home campaign is likely to commence on the day of the governorship election in Anambra State.
The order, on the other hand, was criticized by the De facto Biafra Customary Government, which described it as ‘ criminal’ .
That the De Facto Customary Government of Biafra extols the democratic ethos for which Biafrans are recognized and as such, expresses support for the people of Biafraland to use their democratic rights to vote and be voted for in Biafraland in the current and future elections, ” the statement adds.
According to this declaration, the De Facto Customary Government of Biafra affirms that elections in Anambra State and elsewhere in Biafraland must be conducted following existing laws; that any boycott of the Anambra elections and others elsewhere is futile, counterproductive, and incapable of invalidating the electoral process because a winner must emerge in the end.
That the continuation of the violent campaign for the boycott of elections, as well as other ancillary unethical acts which are detrimental to the promotion of the Biafran cause, are afterward frowned upon and must be discouraged as soon as possible.
In its statement, the group stated that restricting individuals in the Southeast from carrying out their civic responsibilities is unproductive.
It asserted that the people of the Southeast can obtain political control through participation in a democratic system.
Moreover, the statement stated that ” the proponents of this self- annihilating tactic must be reminded that, in reality, the greatest way to be in charge of political power is by engaging in and going through the democratic process itself. ”
Do you see any possibility of IPOB disrupting Anambra election on November 6?