Anambra Governorship Election: ReclaimNaija calls on Security Agencies to conduct themselves in a Professional and Non-Partisan Manner
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On November 18, 2017, the people of Anambra will go to exercise their constitutional right in choosing who will pilot the affairs of the State for the next 4 years. The Anambra Governorship Election is indeed strategic and important in so many ways, coming on the heels of the recent agitations in the South East region and with the 2019 General Elections just over a year away. The election is also a test of INEC’s preparedness and how much efforts have been put in place to enhance the quality of our elections, considering that the Anambra Governorship Election is one of the few staggered Governorship elections we will hold before the 2019 General Elections. Ekiti and Osun States Governorship elections have been scheduled for July and September of 2018.
There is no doubt that the success of the Anambra election rests on the peaceful conduct of the election and that all Agencies that have a role to play in the election carry out their given roles 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.
However, 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. 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. Given the current level of distrust between citizens and security agencies in the region, it is imperative that the Nigerian Police, the 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 also provides a unique opportunity for Security Agencies to start the process of rebuilding trust in the South East region. Indeed, it will be a sad day for Nigerians to be assailed with news of Security Agencies’ interference in the electoral process, akin to what allegedly transpired in the 2014 Ekiti Governorship election. It goes without saying that the conduct of Security Personnel in the days leading to the Election and on Election Day itself will be under intense scrutiny.
We, therefore, call on the Inspector General of Police, Director of the DSS and Heads of other Military and Security Agencies to be deployed in this election to ensure that their men and Officers 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 of 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.
We also call on the good people of Anambra 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.
ReclaimNaija! Na We Get Am!