By Jude Atupulazi
Igbo groups in diaspora have warned anyone of groups planning to rig the forthcoming governorship election in Anmabra State to steer clear.
Leading the call is the Chairman, Igbo World Assembly (IWA), Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze, who urged all relevant stakeholders, including traditional rulers in the state, to canvass for free, fair and peaceful election.
Anakwenze made the call via a zoom in Awka, Friday, October 15, at a workshop organized by Civil Society Committee for Anti-Fraud Election Security (CISCAES) in collaboration with the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Anambra State Council, with the theme: “Enforcing a Peaceful and Credible Electoral Process”.
He said a free and fair and transparent election was needed in Anambra, which he described as not for sale; even as he urged the electorate to ask questions of the candidates before casting their vote.
Anakwenze said those who had no capacity to win elections legally in their own states must not be allowed to impose a governor on Anambra State, which, he said, had produced many great and accomplished Nigerians.
The President of the World Igbo Congress, Prof Anthony Ejiofor, who also participated via zoom, urged Anambra people to be vigilant ahead of the polls.
‘There is fire on the mountain. We must be cautious not to allow Anambra to be destroyed. There is a plan to mortgage the aspirations of the people in the coming election. If we allow Anambra to fall to their caprices, the Southeast is gone,’ he warned.
The Publicity Secretary of PAN-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Mr. Ken Robertson, who also spoke via zoom, said the establishment of a situation room would play a significant role in curbing rigging, ballot box snatching and other electoral security challenges.
While appealing to youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used by desperate politicians for their selfish interest, he noted that whatever social unrest that affected the Southeast equally affected the South South and South West regions. He urged INEC to conduct a transparent election.
Former Minister of Women’s Affairs, Josephine Anenith, for her part, said every Nigerian should be concerned about what was happening in Anambra and urged the people not to leave any stone unturned in ensuring that Anambra did not fall into the wrong hands.
Also, President of Anambra Associations in Germany and Europe, Joseph Ebelechukwu, said the diaspora citizens were not happy over the happenings in Anambra, following information reaching them that the election was already done and dusted.
He said his group would organize a massive and unprecedented protest if the Anambra election failed to reflect the aspirations of the people.
Earlier, convener of the meeting and Founder of CISCAES, Comrade Kennedy Iyere, said the objective of the meeting was for all hands to be on deck in building an egalitarian society. He said the group aimed to create a situation room that would help monitor events across the state with a view to working out solutions before, during and after the election.
The workshop was attended by media executives from across Anambra State.