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NEWS UPDATE: Anambra election: Fear, doubts over November polls as Nigerian govt mobilizes against unknown gunmen

NEWS UPDATE: Anambra election: Fear, doubts over November polls as Nigerian govt mobilizes against unknown gunmen

In less than one month, eligible voters in Anambra Province will file out to elect a new Governor for the Province. There have, nevertheless nonetheless, been controversies over the election as many believe that the election is already threatened. This is because of the spate of violence in the province, which has for months remained sustained.

The foremost existent incertitude in relation to the election holding foremost came in March 2021, when some unidentified gunmen stormed the home town of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Isuofia in Aguata LGA of Anambra Province and attacked a gathering where he was speaking with immature people in relation to his vision for the province. Soludo is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for next month’s election.

The gunmen came at a time when Soludo was still struggling as an aspirant to acquire the ticket of APGA. Fifty-fifty before the onslaught on Soludo, there have been sustained attacks on federal establishments, including Law Stations, Correctional Centers and burning of vehicles belonging to authorities establishments, including onslaught on INEC. The onslaught on Soludo, nevertheless nonetheless, gave it a political coloration, leaving all with the enquiry of whether the election would take hold or not.

In the finally few weeks, the level of insecurity in the Province has go alarming. It came to the climax penultimate week when Dr. Chike Akunyili, the widower of the tardily former Government minister of Information and former Managing director Full general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Command (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili, was murdered in the most gruesome fashion, along with 8 others.

Before and so, in Ajalli, Orumba Northward Local Authorities Area, a constabulary station was attacked and 2 policemen killed. Also, the vehicle of a fellow member of the House of Representatives and former PDP governorship aspirant, Hon. Chris Azubogu was attacked, and his driver killed.

The gunmen also set ablaze the offices of the Department of Province Services (DSS) and Federal Route Security Corps (FRSC) in Nnewi, Anambra Province, leaving 2 people dead on their trail. Also set ablaze was the Nnewi country home of a Lagos-based chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Joe Igbokwe, and the home of some other prominent son of Nnewi and former government minister, Dr. Chu Okongwu, which was also invaded and burnt downwardly.

In most of the incidents, eyewitnesses have pointed at the separatist grouping; Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), fifty-fifty though the grouping has been struggling to extricate itself from it. Those who have witnessed scenes of onslaught say the heavily armed groups have passed one message for their lucky victims who escaped alive to go and tell the concerned authorities that there will be no election in Anambra Province.

Absent from IPOB, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been in a state of war of words over who is responsible for the attacks in the Province.

The APC had foremost accused APGA of not doing plenty to stem the tide of insecurity in the province. Senator Andy Uba, the political party’s governorship candidate, had accused Governor Willie Obiano of having a mitt in the increasing violence in the Province for the purpose of putting off the scheduled election.

Uba said with the huge monthly security vote collected by the governor and his married woman, the security of the Province ought to be superior managed. Uba who spoke through the media managing director of his cause organisation, Hon. Afam Ogene said: “Each time Gov Obiano clownishly adorns himself in military machine camouflage, does he do so for mere comedian display?”

But in a swift response, APGA stated that by accusing Governor Willie Obiano of having a mitt in the insecurity in the province, the APC was indirectly accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of ineptitude, since the president is the Main Security Officer of the country.

The province Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba who also doubles as the Managing director of Media and Publicity of the Soludo Crusade organization, argued that the “Anambra APC indicts President Buhari anytime it comments gratuitously on a negative security evolution in the province. President Buhari, not Governor Willie Obiano, is the Commander in Main of the Nigerian Armed Forces and top dog of all security agencies in the country. Security is on the Exclusive Listing of the 1999 Structure, as amended.

“Each of the 36 province governors in the federation is just the titular main security officer of his province. No governor has command over the constabulary forcefulness or the Department of Province Services or the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in his province, permit lone whatever of the Armed Forces. Fifty-fifty the Anambra Vigilante Grouping (AVG) is supervised by the province constabulary command, similar whatever other province vigilante service,” Adinuba explained.

As the brickbat continues, there have been arguments in relation to whether there will be election in the province or not. Attorney Full general of the federation, Abubakar Malami reacting to this said the federal authorities was determined to ensure that elections take hold, and that fifty-fifty whether it way imposing an emergency regulation in Anambra, it will not hesitate.

Malami has, howeve,r been roundly condemned for the statement, with many stating that he has an ulterior motive by making such an utterance, particularly, existence that he is a fellow member of the APC cause council in the province.

Governor Willie Obiano who visited President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue said: “I was warmly received nowadays at the Province House in Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari. I reported the statement credited to the Attorney Full general and Government minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to him. The Government minister had threatened that the federal authorities will impose a province of emergency on Anambra Province over security challenges.

“The President assured me and Ndi Anambra that the federal authorities is not contemplating taking such drastic activeness. Rather, President Buhari said that the federal authorities will increment its back up to security agencies operating in Anambra Province to contain the challenges. Amid other measures, the President said that there will be to a greater extent booths on the ground”.

Obiano said that President Buhari frowned at those who utilization his proper name and that of the federal authorities to intimidate Anambra voters. “We also discussed the Nov 6th. 2021 Anambra gubernatorial election. President Buhari assured me that he will not back up intimidation of the electorates in whatever shape, and promised that the federal authorities will back up INEC and other agencies connected with the election to ensure the conduct of a loose, fair and credible Anambra gubernatorial elections”.

On the feasibility of elections holding in Anambra Province, the federal authorities has responded by launching surgical procedure Golden Dawn, not only for Anambra Province, but for the entire Southward east. DAILY POST confirms that there is a massive presence of the military machine and mobile constabulary operatives in all corners of Anambra Province.

Hon Emeka Aforka, a fellow member of the House of Assembly, patch reacting said: “Anambra has not recorded decease 15 persons since the new scales of violence in the province. For a province that has for the past times 7 years enjoyed well-deserved reputation of existence Nigeria’s safest and most peaceful province.

“Anambra has not recorded a fraction of casualties the country has seen in places similar Borno, Zamfara, Katsina, Benue, Plateau, Yobe, Niger, Adamawa, Taraba, amongst others, where terrorists have killed several thousands of civilians and attacked military machine formations. The bandits operating in Northern division of the country have fifty-fifty brought downwardly some sophisticated combat aircraft, were elections not held successfully in these states in 2019?

“Is the number of victims of the politically motivated violence in Anambra Province anything near what the country has seen fifty-fifty in such states as Imo and Ebonyi controlled by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)? Why hasn’t Malami considered a province of emergency in these APC-controlled states? Anambra will take hold its election, and it will be peaceful,” he declared.

Echoing same stand up, A human rights Lawyer, Barr Kelechi Eze who spoke with DAILY POST said, “Allow us assume that the insecurity continues, have there not been elections in other states in the Northward, fifty-fifty in the heat of terrorists attacks? I am rattling confident that elections will take hold in Anambra. The province governor has said he is ready for the election, the APGA, APC and fifty-fifty PDP have also said same. So, is it people from other states as the governor has said that will come up and destabilize what we are doing hither?

“It is a one-state election, and so all focus would be hither. I think the federal authorities can also mobilize to ensure that the province is superior protected for the election.”

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