Live Security Situation Reports From Anambra Governorship Election 2021 can be accessed below.
The Editor Nigeria team have arrived in Anambra State ahead of the November 6th, Saturday Governorship election in the state.
In this post, we will be updating you with the latest security situation and latest security threats from all the 21 local government areas of Anambra.
•We saw them shooting indiscriminately, chanting Jihadist slogans
•IGP orders 24-hour restriction of vehicular movements
•Anambra govt, Police bicker over alleged plan to arrest key officials
•18 candidates sign Peace Accord
•INEC begins distribution of electoral materials to 21 LGAs
•Says it’s doing its best to make exercise credible
•IPOB cancels seven-day sit-at-home, urges voters to exercise their franchise
•Maintain peace, Abubakar tells Anambra people
- ‘ Many Voters Already Left’– Residents Describe IPOB’s Cancellation Of Sit-At-Home As Medicine After Death
The Editor Nigeria reports that barely twenty-four hours to tomorrow’s governorship election in Anambra State, a coalition of civil society groups, yesterday decried the tense atmosphere in the state, which they claimed is being escalated by security forces.
“Drafted security forces are escalating and heightening tensions, panics and fears among Anambra voters by engaging in indiscriminate shootings, mindless brutalities and chanting of offensive ethno-religious slogans,” the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), the Southeast Zone of the Civil Liberties Organization (Southeast CLO) and the Southeast Based Coalition of Democracy and Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs), said.
Indeed, the exodus of some Anambra residents to neighbouring states continued yesterday as the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, ordered a 24-hour restriction of vehicular movement in and out of Anambra State from 11:59pm on Friday, November 5, 2021 to 11:59pm on Saturday, November 6, 2021.
The IGP noted that the restriction order had become necessary following pointers from the election security threats assessments conducted by the Force, which indicated a high likelihood of infiltration by criminally-minded individuals to Anambra State before, during and after the polls.
Meanwhile, following the intervention of traditional and religious leaders, and Igbo elders, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday canceled its seven-day sit-at-home directive that would have started today, and denied issuing poll boycott order.
In readiness for a credible and peaceful election, the 18 governorship candidates, yesterday signed a peace accord as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, began distribution of electoral materials to the 21 LGAs of the state.
On a day that former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, retd, urged Anambra people to maintain peace during the poll, the Anambra State Government and the Police bickered over alleged plan to arrest government officials on fabricated charges.
We saw security forces shooting indiscriminately, chanting Jihadist slogans
The CSO coalition in a joint statement, signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche, and Chidimma Eva Udegbunam (for Intersociety), Comrades Aloysius Attah and Vincent Ezekwueme (for Southeast CLO) and Dr. Jerry Chukwuokoro, and Dr. Okezie Kelechi (for SBCHROs) they are ‘’deeply worried and saddened that just two days to the Anambra Governorship Election, the Nigerian security forces comprising soldiers of the Nigerian Army and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps and other armed personnel of the country’s security forces deployed or being deployed in Anambra State ahead of the Nov 6 2021 Governorship Election have brazenly resorted to escalating and heightening of tensions, panics and fears among Anambra voting population.
These, the named drafted security forces, numbering over 100,000, are engaging in through indiscriminate shootings, mindless brutalization of the civil population and chanting or use of offensive ethno-religious slogans in addition to flooding the State with Lorries of suspected non indigenes and fake voters.
The latter may not be unconnected with recent threat by Federal Government to “go as far as using prisoners and inmates as voters to ward off the agitators’ sit-at-home threat to scuttle the poll”. The crude and hostile attitudes of the drafted security forces towards Anambra residents and voters have strongly painted them (security forces) as engaging in special presidential clandestine operations other than election duties.”
The statement continued: “Apart from several reports of indiscriminate and aimless shootings by soldiers and ‘special’ police squads at densely populated places like frontages of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Nkwo Igbo and Afor Umunze Community Markets at Igbo-Ukwu and Umunze communities and densely populated others like Ekwulobia, Ihiala, Atani, Oba (Old Oba-Nnewi Road axis), Nnewi, Nkpor, Abagana and so on; the shooting incident and chanting of corrupted but now anti secular or ethno-religious violent slogans such as “Allahu Akbar” and “Nyamiri” were brazenly the case in the evening of yesterday, Tuesday, 3rd November 2021.
“The incident occurred at the ever busy Onitsha Niger Bridgehead and Uga Junction located at Fegge, Onitsha. The incident, which took place between 5.30pm and 6.10pm when traders were retiring home from the nearby Bridgehead Market, saw indiscriminate shooting of live bullets by military and police personnel and chanting of offensive ethno-religious slogans (i.e. Allahu Akbar, Nyamiri, etc). The retiring traders and other road users were thrown into panics and fears forcing them to run helter skelter to avoid being hit by live bullets. Some Coalition members also saw it all; and in addition to sighting thousands of suspected non indigenes of the State and fake voters being brought into the State in dozens of hired Luxurious Buses marked in green colors and fully escorted by armed soldiers and police personnel.”
IGP orders restriction of vehicular movements
As part of measures to protect the sanctity of the electoral process IGP Usman Alkali Baba, ordered the restriction of vehicular movement in and out of Anambra State from 11:59pm on Friday to 11:59pm on Saturday.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, the IGP further noted that “the measure would also avail security forces a firm grip of the state to checkmate the movement of political thugs and touts, and prevent the free flow, circulation and use of illicit arms and hard drugs throughout the period and beyond.
“The IGP enjoined INEC officials, accredited observers and journalists, and other authorized officials to go about their lawful duties as it relates to the elections, provided they observe all relevant rules guiding their deployment including the visible display of their accreditation tags.”
Anambra govt, police disagree over alleged plan to arrest key officials
The Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, cried out over alleged plan by the opposition to arrest key officials of the Anambra Government on fabricated charges.
Adinuba in a statement, said: “The Anambra State Government has received credible intelligence reports about moves by members of a certain political party to use the instrumentality of the state to arrest key officials of the State Government anytime on trumped-up charges.
“The aim is to hijack the gubernatorial election. One of the meetings where the use of coercive apparatus of the state to carry out this plot has just been held in Awka, the Anambra State capital,” he alleged.
Police faults claim
In a swift response, the Anambra Police Command Public Relations Officers, ASP Tochukwu Ikenga, declined knowledge of such information.
He said that the police command in Anambra is yet to receive official report on such information and advised media practitioners to verify any information available to them before going to print to avoid misinforming the public.
However, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations, Mr. Zaki Ahmed, who spoke with reporters and members of the Civil Society Organizations at the police headquarters in Awka, described the allegation as fake news.
INEC begins distribution of electoral materials to 21 LGAs
Ahead of the poll, the INEC commenced the distribution of electoral materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Awka to the 21 local government areas of the state, yesterday.
The INEC team in charge of the distribution is led by the Festus Okoye, national commissioner and chairman, information, voter education and publicity committee.
Candidates sign Peace Accord
The 18 candidates contesting tomorrow’s election, yesterday signed a peace accord in Awka, the state capital.
The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, was present at the ceremony which was facilitated by the National Peace Committee led by former Head of State, general Abdulsalami Abubakar, retd..
Speaking at the ceremony, Yakubu said the commission has done all it can to make the election process hitch-free, and appealed to residents to keep the peace so that election will be violence-free
Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party, YPP; Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress, APC; and Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, were among those who signed the peace accord.
Others were Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; Godwin Maduka of the Accord Party, AP: Etiaba Chukwuogo of the Action Alliance, AA; Nwankwo Chidozie of the African Action Congress, AAC; Onyejegbu Okwudili of the Allied Peoples Movement, APM;, Ohajimkpo Emeka of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP; Ezenwafor Victor of the National Rescue Movement, NRM; Nnamdi Nwawuo of the People’s Redemption Party, PRP;, Uzor Godwin of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and Obiora Okonkwo of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP.
The accord is binding on the candidate, who are expected to take proactive steps “towards ensuring a conducive environment for the conduct of a credible electoral process.”
The candidates also pledged to “fully abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to respect the rules and regulations as laid down in the Legal Framework for Elections in Nigeria, and to adhere to best international standards.”
Under the accord, the candidates and their parties are expected to “support all institutions of government involved in conducting or securing the elections – in particular INEC and the security forces – to act with professionalism, impartiality and transparency.”
Maintain peace, Abubakar tells Anambra people
Chairman of the National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, retd, has urged the people of Anambra State, particularly the contestants to maintain peace, knowing that there could only be a winner at a time.
Abubakar, who was in company of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah, stated this while speaking Newsmen shortly after a courtesy call on the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State. He said they were on their way from Awka where they they went to sign the peace pact.
He said; “as we always say, there must be peace because if there is no peace, there will be no country, there will be no state and there will be no election.
“So it is absolutely necessary to ensure that there is peace and for the contestants, they must know that there can only be a winner, and they must take the outcome of the election in good faith if the election is free and fair they must accept the result.”
Meantime, the IPOB has eased the simmering tension in Anambra by canceled the one week sit-at-home it ordered in support of its detained Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, entitled: “We have canceled our one week sit-at-home,’’ IPOB said the decision was arrived at following genuine intervention of elders, esteemed traditional institutions/rulers and religious leaders and after a due consideration of positive impact of their engagement with IPOB leadership.
Powerful, who had in an earlier statement said IPOB did not order a boycott of the election, also stated that they equally considered the appeals of Igbo mother’s who earn their living based on their daily economic activities which will obviously be affected if Biafra land is locked down for one whole week.
IPOB statement read: “Following the genuine intervention of our elders, esteemed traditional Institutions/Rulers and religious leaders, and after a due consideration of the positive impacts of their engagement, and sequel to the fact that Our elders have spoken in our terms, the leadership of IPOB ably lead by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu hereby and immediately call off the one week sit-at-home earlier declared to commence tomorrow, November 5 to November 10, 2021.
“We have equally considered several appeals by our mothers who earn their living based on their daily economic activities which will obviously be affected if Biafra land is locked down for one whole week. It is never our intention to add to the pains of our people, hence our decision to suspend the sit-at-home.
“IPOB leadership is only interested in our referendum and peaceful agitation for self determination, and can not by under any guise be seen to be interfering with any electoral process.
“The people of Anambra State should go out en mass and peacefully exercise their franchise come 6th November 2021 and accordingly, chose a leader of their choice and should not be intimidated by anybody, group of persons or security agents.
“Credible intelligence available to us confirmed that the Nigeria DSS has concluded arrangement to deploy a branch of their trained terrorist group to Anambra state come 6th day of November 2021, to unleash mayhem on our people and attribute the killing to peaceful IPOB members.
“Anambrarians should vote and standby to protect their votes. No rigging of any kind will be tolerated in the Anambra State governorship election. It must be transparent, free and fair to all.
“We wish to thank Biafrans, IPOB members worldwide, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom for their continued support for our dogged struggle for independence.
“May we therefore, warn detractors, traitors and enemies of Biafra not to cause confusion by imputing motives to our decision. IPOB doesn’t expect anybody to observe, monitor or enforce the suspended order otherwise such action will be considered a rebellion to the highest leadership of our global movement.
“On the other hand, our oppressors should not take our decision as an act of cowardice. IPOB still believes that our elders, religious leaders, political leaders and various stakeholders will live up to their promises in their engagements and efforts towards securing the unconditional release of our leader.
“We therefore, urge all Biafrans and residents of Biafra land to go about their lawful businesses without fear of any molestations. All agents of darkness recruited by our enemies to inflict pains on our people under the guise of enforcing the sit-at-home, are hereby warned to steer clear or brace up for the consequences of their evil action.
“IPOB will not relent in our pursuit for Biafra freedom. Nigeria government must give us date for Biafra referendum to decide where we want to belong.”
‘ Many Voters Already Left’– Residents Describe IPOB’s Cancellation Of Sit-At-Home As Medicine After Death
Many ‘runaway’ eligible voters, who would have cast their votes at Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State, told NEWSONLINE NIGERIA on Friday that the belated cancellation of the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra is medicine after death.
According to them, many had already left their electoral wards for neighbouring states for safety.
Greg Okechukwu, who spoke with our correspondent from Orlu, Imo State, said, “I left Ekwulobia where I ought to have voted two days ago. Who would fund my return to cast my votes? The cancellation is dead on arrival.”
Steven Ogbu returned to Enugu on Thursday. He said, “How can one agree that the cancellation is genuine when the usual Monday’s sit-at-home was cancelled but people still heed to it. Maybe the whole thing is politics. For me and my family, we won’t risk such. It is medicine after death.”
A civil rights activist, Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie, however, has advised Gov Willie Obiano to bring back fleeing eligible voters to cast their votes.
He told our correspondent in Awka that, “Obiano should know what to do. If I were in his shoes, I would send luxury buses to Enugu, Owerri, Umuahia, Aba, Asaba, Abakiliki, Lagos, Abuja etc to bring back eligible voters that want to return. But you can only board if you show your voter’s card. Such might raise dust but the dust settles down after flying around.
“We thank God the one week sit-at-home has been called off. All that worked towards the calling off of this sit-at-home are Igbo patriots and will be blessed by God.