…As INEC meets security agencies
By Ezeocha Nzeh
As the Independent National Electoral Commission moves into the crucial stage of its preparation s for the November 6 Anambra State governorship election, the federal government has warned trouble makers to steer clear of the state as arrangements are being put in place to deploy heavy security to ensure that the exercise was free, fair and peaceful.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Babagana Munguno (Retd) said this Thursday in Abuja while speaking at the 3rd Quarterly Meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES)of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
Munguno who was represented by a Director at the State Security Service, Sanusi Galadima said security agencies are aware of the existence of several separatist groups in the South-East, but added that government will also carry out its responsibility of securing lives and property of citizens.
He warned that the federal government would not allow the separatist groups to have their way in their plans to disrupt the electoral process in Anambra state, warning that huge security presence would be deployed on the election day to protect love fe and property of citizebd, and ensure a hitch free election
“With the prevalence of security threats occasioned by different dissident separatist groups in the South Eastern region of the country, who are bent on scuttling efforts of government in achieving national cohesion, and undermining the democratic processes in the country, the federal government of Nigeria will not tolerate any group or persons planning to impede smooth conduct of elections.
“While acknowledging the constitutional rights of citizens to freely express their legitimate grievances within the ambits of the law, it is also important to state that the federal government will not abdicate its constitutional responsibility of securing lives and property as well as secure environment for citizens to pursue their legitimate means of livelihood.”
Earlier in his welcome address, INEC Chairman and co-Chair of ICCES, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, expressed satisfaction with the response of security operatives in the wake of the incessant burning of the facilities of the Commission in parts of the country.
He noted that with the collaborative effort of the ICCES members, successive elections in the country have been conducted under serene and peaceful atmosphere.
“The Commission appreciates the security agencies and all members of ICCES for your continued support to elections and the electoral process in Nigeria. This year alone, the Commission has conducted eight bye-elections made up of four Federal Constituencies, three State Constituencies and one Councillorship Constituency in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The last bye-election was held about four weeks ago in Kaduna State.
“The focus of this meeting is the Anambra State Governorship election holding on 6th November 2021. You will recall that early this year, the Commission successfully expanded voter access to polling units in Nigeria. In Anambra State, there are now 5,720 polling units to which personnel and materials will be delivered. Similarly, the number of registered voters has increased because of the CVR. All 18 political parties are fielding candidates in the election. Campaign by parties and their candidates has commenced.”
He further reiterated the decision of INEC to introduce the new technology called the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which has the capability for both the fingerprint and facial biometric accreditation for the Anambra election.