Anambra Decides: INEC Debunks Favouritism Rumours as Police Warn Security Personnel Against Following Politicians to Polling Units

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Friday, asked the people of Anambra State and the general public to disregard the speculation in some quarters that its personnel had been compromised by politicians in Saturday’s governorship election in the state. The election umpire said the insinuation was false and misleading.
This is even as the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of operations, Joshak Habila, has warned that no uniformed security personnel would be allowed to follow politicians to polling booths.
The speculation had gone viral, fueled by some politicians, that the deployment of additional ad hoc staff by the Commission to certain locations was to give advantage to a political party.
However, the Commission’s Head of Voter Education and Publicity in Anambra state, Leo Nkedife, who refuted the speculation, disclosed that additional ad hoc, comprising corps members had been requested by INEC to increase the number serving in the state which was inadequate for the poll.
He said: “INEC is not in any way compromised. The issue is that we do not have enough corps members in Anambra State. So, that necessitated us to go to neighbouring states to source for corps members to complement
“At the stakeholders forum that issue was raised. They said that corps members from outside should not go to a particular local government and we have effected that. So, INEC is not in any way comprised. It is totally false, ” Nkedife added
Meanwhile, DIG Habila, warned that security personnel would not be allowed to accompany very important personalities to polling units during the conduct of the governorship election on Saturday.
Habila handed down the warning Friday, while speaking with journalists at the state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Awka.
“Tell all VIPs that they cannot be accompanied by uniform personnel because that also will intimidate others. People are expected to walk a shot distance and cast their vote and go back home.
“No VIP, no government official, no individual should put onto themselves the responsibility of monitoring, except the press and accredited observers. International and national observers will be given an opportunity,” he said.
Speaking on the security arrangement for the exercise, the DIG noted that the redeployment of senior police officers from the state was done to ensure transparency.
He explained that with the massive deployment of additional 21,000 police personnel to join the existing 6,000 operatives in the state, five policemen were expected to man each polling unit.
He further disclosed that 300 hilux vehicles have been stations around areas prone to violence and 15 gunboats to the riverine areas, while three helicopters would hover above the three senatorial districts of the state to provide aerial view during the election.
“There is no cause to fear. Virtually everywhere, you will have police officers and other security agencies prepared. I want to assure those who are getting afraid (that) do not believe that something is pursuing you when nothing is pursuing you.
“We guarantee you your safety and ask that you should come our tomorrow and vote so that you can choose the man you want to be at the helm of affairs. There is no cause to fear,” he emphasised.
Habila, who described the threat by the secession agitators, IPOB, as a failed move, said: “I am of the opinion that the threat they put through was just a dummy, it was just a script written and rehearsed. But I think that it has failed because it has not been played.
“It was never played during the electioneering campaign. I do not think that anybody will go and dust those things and play them anymore. If there is any one, then it is unfortunate.
“But I want to assure you that they were just antics. And that is why I say, vote and leave but not vote and die.”

Author: News Editor

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