The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State remains on course despite the rising cases of killings, arson and attacks by unknown gunmen.
With the election just a month away, there has been coordinated attacks and killings in Anambra, while the headquarters of INEC in the state was also razed. However, the electoral commission said the date of the election remains sacrosanct.
On Sunday, the offices of the Department of State Services (DSS) and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) were set ablaze while the country home of Joe Igbokwe, an aide of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was also set ablaze in Nnewi, Anambra State. Igbokwe accused IPOB of being responsible.
Last week, five police officers were killed in the attack at a divisional police station in Ajali, Orumba North Local Government Area of the state while the convoy of the House of Representatives member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South/Ekwusigo Constituency, Chris Azubogu, was also attacked by gunmen and one of his drivers shot dead.
The attacks occurred two days after Dr. Chike Akunyili, the husband of the late former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili, was killed by gunmen in Anambra.
On September 27, gunmen stormed a political rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) where they killed a man and wounded several others. They also set ablaze a car belonging to a leader of Professor Chukwuma Soludo’s group, Dr. Nelson Omenugha, at Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state.
When asked if the attacks posed a threat to the governorship election, Festus Okoye, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, said the commission is making serious preparation and will proceed with the exercise.
He added that in few days, INEC will deliver non-sensitive materials that will be used for the election.
“As far as the commission is concerned, we are proceeding with the election. We are seriously preparing for the exercise. In the next few days, we are going to deliver the non-sensitive materials meant for the election. So, preparation is on top gear on the part of INEC and we are going ahead with the election.”
On steps being taken to ensure the safety of its officials, ad-hoc staff and electoral materials, Okoye said INEC will hold a top-level meeting with the inter-agencies elections security committee where the issue of safety during the Anambra governorship election will be discussed.
The Federal Government had, few days ago said it will not allow any separatist group to disrupt the governorship election.