Posted by News Express | 17 November 2017 | 1,444 times
Reclaim Naija, a coalition of organisations working on governance issues have called on the Police and other security agencies, charged with the task of ensuring the orderly and peaceful conduct of the Anambra Governorship Election slated for Saturday, to avoid partisanship.
“It is important that security agencies provide a safe and secure atmosphere for voters to freely exercise their rights and for INEC personnel and election observers to carry out their duties without hindrance,” says Chuks Ojidoh, coordinator, Reclaim Naija, maintaining that with only a few days away to the election, “there are increasing reports and fears about the role of the security agencies in the forth-coming exercise”.
Ojidoh, also deputy director and head, governance unit, Community Life Project (CLP), further says: “The success of the Anambra election rests on the peaceful conduct of the election and that all agencies have to ensure that their respective roles in the election is carried out without fear or favour.
“It is worth noting that the people of Anambra State have so far conducted themselves in an orderly and peaceful manner; and that the campaigns have been violent-free, culminating in a debate by the candidates that has largely given hope for a peaceful election.”
Given the current level of distrust between citizens and security agencies in the region, the coalition says: “It is imperative that the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Security (DSS) and other security agencies conduct themselves in a professional and non-partisan manner. There should be no room for citizens to doubt the sincerity of the security agencies.” This election, according to Ojidoh, also provides “a unique opportunity for security agencies to start the process of rebuilding trust in the South East region”.
“We, therefore, call on the Inspector General of Police, Director of the DSS and heads of other military and security agencies to ensure that officers be deployed in this election do not interfere with the electoral process or try to influence the outcome of the election.
“As a nation, this election will serve as a litmus test on how far we have come post-2015 elections and how prepared we are to conduct the 2019 elections in line with international best practices on elections and democratic standards,” says Ojidoh
The statement also called on the Anambra people “to remain vigilant and peaceful in their conduct; to come out en masse on Saturday to exercise their civic rights and choose the candidate of their choice without encouraging fraud themselves, especially vote buying.”
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