Barely 5 days to the Anambra State Governorship election, an Independent election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to urgently commence the distribution of 76,104 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to the new eligible voters to enable them to vote in the forthcoming election in the state.Yiaga Africa made the call while presenting its pre-election observations at a news conference in Awka, over the weekend.
Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, a member of Yiaga Board of Directors who spoke for the group, urged the commission to urgently do so, to ensure a credible process.The group lists IPOB continued threats, cultism activities, gunmen attacks and other societal vices, as factors that may affect the exercise.Yiaga said the voter information campaigns were conducted in 14 of the 21 local government areas of Anambra State with a special interest in the marginalised population including women, youths, and persons with disabilities.
It decried the attacks on political campaigns but concluded that the people of Anambra are eager to have the election on the scheduled date.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission should ensure more consistent and harmonious coordination within the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on election security.
“This will be a measure to forestall incidents of violence and ensure the safety of voters and poll officials,
” he said.Yiaga Africa also called on security agencies, especially, the police, to ensure public confidence to enable the electorate to participate optimally in the Nov. 6 governorship election in Anambra.
It said the security agencies should partner with civil society organisations to promote activities and initiatives that will increase citizens’ confidence and encourage participation in the election.
“Security agencies should ensure that their personnel are adequately trained on election security before they are deployed for the election.
“Security agencies should deploy monitoring mechanisms to checkmate and curtail personnel excesses,
” he said.Yiaga said political parties and citizens also have their roles to play by promoting peaceful elections and ensuring they collect their permanent voter cards and cast their votes.
It said citizens should get involved in getting out to raise awareness about the polls as the election was a civic right which they should not deny themselves urging them to refrain from any form of physical and verbal attacks.
“Political party leaders, candidates and supporters should refrain from manipulating the insecurity in the state by creating mayhem and politically related attacks/crises.
“Voting in elections is the legitimate means of making citizens’ voices heard and of recruiting desirable leaders,” Nwagwu said.
The November 6, 2021 Governorship election will be held amid insecurity by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as 18 political parties are gunning keenly for the highest position in the state.