The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), an election observer group, has raised deep safety concerns ahead of the Anambra State Governorship election.
In a statement on Monday by its Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi, the CTA said due to the security concerns, it is postponing its stakeholder’s meeting scheduled to hold on 0ctober 8 in Awka.
Nwadishi said the security challenge in Anambra State is degenerating daily thereby casting fears as to the feasibility of conducting election in such a tensed atmosphere.
CTA while condemning the spate of killing in Anambra State, urged the security agencies to track and apprehend the actors involved in this heinous crime.
she said, “CTA also condemns the kidnapping of political party candidates and top politicians, killing of security personnel and citizens, the burning of police stations, burning of INEC facilities, burning of security outstations, including the intimidation of citizens in lawful political gatherings across Anambra State.
“In the same manner, we observed that many citizens have expressed fears of possible low voter turnout and apathy which might be because of the heightened insecurity. For this reason, also, INEC might find it difficult to obtain the services of the Road Transport Workers NURTW and NARTO in Anambra State for distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive materials to polling units. The members fear that their vehicles may be destroyed if deployed on Election Day.
“CTA therefore calls on the security agencies to protect INEC staff, election materials, facilities, and the citizens including election workers before, during and after the election. The security agencies, Town Unions should work in synergy to allay the fears of citizens from security threats and assure them of their safety now and after the election.”
The CTA also described as most worrisome the rancor and disputes emanating from political parties’ primaries, saying it is affecting party campaigns as majority of the parties are still in court seeking to know who the rightful candidates to be presented for the election.
she said, “This uncertainty is mostly noticed among the frontline contenders and therefore, election campaigns have been low key.
“At this point, it is also important that political parties shun rancor within their ranks and among themselves while conducting their campaigns and rallies without threat to public safety.”
Reacting to the Electoral Act Amendment, she said, “As the National Assembly has reconvened and is expected will continue with the harmonization of the amendments for the Electoral Act, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy urges the members to do the wishes of the people by passing a law that has the interest of the people. INEC and majority of Nigerians have consistently informed Nigerians that electronic transmission of result is possible. The Election Management Body has equally, assured Nigerians that they are capable and ready to deploy technology to achieve credible, free, and fair elections in Nigeria. The hour is now, the National Assembly should play the role of true Statesmen and women and the representatives of the people.”