Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 15 September 2017 | 1,162 times
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said that no fewer than two million voters have been registered for the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State.
Speaking during a meeting with electoral officers and members of the Civil Society Organisations in Awka, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji said the comprehensive register would be printed in the next three weeks and published in three instalments in all the local government areas of the state.
While stating that there would be massive deployment of security operatives in the course of the election, Orji explained that out of the 21,000 security personnel that would be needed for the election, about 2,000 were already on ground.
He noted that the state INEC would seek approval from the national headquarters to source for adhoc staff from tertiary institutions in and around the state to complement the about 7,000 to be provided by the National Youth Service Corps.
According to him, 35 governorship candidates would contest the election, adding that political parties that conducted their primaries without inviting INEC only embarked on illegal exercise as their candidates would not participate in the election.
The REC also asked the successful candidates from the INEC-monitored primaries to provide the commission with their detailed profile, including their background, educational qualifications, among other information for necessary action.
His words: “INEC would monitor the campaigns to look out for hate speeches and other unwholesome conducts. One of the measures being taken to ensure free and fair election was to move around the staff of INEC and transfer those who were due to move out of the state.
“We discovered that contrary to election principles, many staff of INEC have stayed too long in their duty posts. We also discovered that even when INEC transferred people out of Anambra, they found their way back and we have ensured that those who were due for transfer should go. We have also changed all the electoral officers in the 21 Local Government Areas as part of measures to ensure free and fair poll.”
Orji warned political parties and their candidates to ensure they play the game according to the rules.
In his speech, the Executive Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy Center, Dr. Clement Nwankwo said that the entire country was expecting an exceptional poll because previous elections in the state fell below the minimum standard.
He said: “Every eye is on this election because its success will give an idea of what will happen in 2019. As election umpires and observers, we should be bold to do the right thing. South East has a low standard of election compliance and the last election in Anambra State was far below the standard.
“As Igbo people, we should be really ashamed of ourselves. However, we believe that the REC in this state can give the people good election. We are happy that INEC has said that collation of results should be published unit by unit so that the electorate will know the outcome in their units immediately.”
Nwankwo however argued that there would be no need to bring soldiers on the streets on the day of the election because they have no business with election matters saying that over policing would scare eligible voters.
The programme was put together by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, with the support of the British Department for International Development.
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