By Uche Amunike
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has assured voters that an Anambra Election Peace Pact will be signed by candidates and political parties during a stakeholders meeting to be held later in the day in order to commit to a free and fair election.
He mentioned this during a meeting held at the INEC headquarters in Awka, where he gave the assurance that the Commission will collaborate with all the security agencies in the state to see that the polls will be conducted freely, fairly and credibly.
He has also charged all security agencies in the state to do everything within their means to ensure sanity and orderliness before, during and after the process.
He explained that the essence of the Anambra election peace pact was to avoid anything that would stop from the elections from being peacefully conducted in the state and gave full assurance to voters and people of Anambra state nothing will stop the November 6 gubernatorial election from taking place.
On his part, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr Echeng Echeng confirmed that all boundaries linking the states with other surrounding states will be locked down on Thursday night as part of measures to ensure that their is security within and outside the state.
According to him, vehicles and movement will not be allowed into the state during this time frame, because several camps of hoodlums have been identified and presently being seriously monitored. He also condemned the ugly narratives from people outside the States given about the security situation in part of the state.
Still in the spirit of the Anambra election peace pact, the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for Anambra State governorship election, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, who was in Awka for the grand finale of the party’s governorship candidate Valentine Ozigbo with 13 PDP governors, condemned rigging during the election and vowed to resist any plot to rig the election.
The APC caucus members of the House of Assembly, led by Honourable Timothy Ifediora also paid a solidarity visit to the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Nkem Okeke at his office in the Government House, Awka, and were well received by him as he stated that Anambra state can not continue to be a lone ranger.
Meanwhile Amnesty Nigeria has called on the Federal government to ensure that the lives of citizens, journalists and election observers are protected during and after the November 6 election.
Her Media Manager, Isa Sanusi expressed concern on political gatherings, security forces, violence targeting voters and INEC facilities.
Part of the statement by its director, Osai Ojigho and released by Sanusi read: ‘Nigerian government must protect people from violence and ensure the full respect for freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association before, during and after the upcoming gubernatorial election.
“The government must put in place measures to protect people including human rights defenders, election observers, and staff of INEC ahead of the 6 November election’.