Sun. Aug 7th, 2022

Leading Civil Society and Pro-democracy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has thrown her weight behind the insistence of the nation’s electoral umpires the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the November 6th 2021 election as planned inspite of heightened attacks by unknown armed non state actors.

Besides, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA said it was heartwarming that even when speculations and accusations were rife that the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) had threatened to unleash unprecedented violence to stop the November 6th poll, the officially recognised spokesperson of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra Comrade Emma Powerful is known to have been attributed with the claim in the media that the violence targeting the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission and strategic national security institution and operatives aren’t executed by his organisation but rather that a South East governor was behind the killings so as to render the election inconclusive and to enable the electoral panel to give the victory to the National ruling party of All Progressives Congress which produced the said alleged Igbo sponsor of the spate of attacks in the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA said there was valid reasons to investigate this libe of thoughts. 

HURIWA through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko therefore says the onus is now on the Federal Government of Nigeria using the law based security and intelligence gathering approaches and strategies to decide and unravel the exact sponsors and executors of the unprecedented bloody violence and targeted killings of Igbo academic and political elites that escalated since preparations for the governorship election in Anambra State intensified. 

The Rights group accused the All Progressives Congress of demonstrating undue avarice and greed to scuttle the peaceful conduct of the anambra state gubernatorial poll going by the high level of committees backed by the federal government set up to help the All Progressives Congress candidate in the Anambra election Mr. Andy Uba to win. 

“HURIWA doesn’t apprehend and comprehend the choreographed state of panic and terrific fears that the so called activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the state may obstruct the conduct of the election when from the official spokesperson of the banned group Nigerians have been told that IPOB won’t undermine the conduct of the election.”  

“It is now becoming clearer that the All Progressives Congress is determined to throw Federal might and manipulate Presidential power and misuse public fund at the disposal of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to deliver by hook or crook the Anambra state governornirship seat to the All Progressives Congress.”

“The body language of the President and his speeches and the fact that All Progressives Congress has set up nearly 100 men campaign panel made up of over 20 governors and Federal officials shows that the problem facing the smooth conduct of the Anambra state gubernatorial poll is not IPOB but the Federal government and members of the deep state who are plotting and working through the activities of the unknown gunmen to create panic and conflicts in Anambra to scuttle a peaceful, transparent and accountable election to either declare the election inconclusive as was done in Osun and then rig the by-election or to rig it outright and allow the Supreme Court to reinvent the Imo formula in which the person who emerged fourth by INEC was declared the winner by the discredited Supreme Court of Nigeria “.

HURIWA recalled that amidst the uncertainty over the election, Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Victor Ayodele Aluko, told the media on Monday that the emergency Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting would among others deliberate on the way forward for the Anambra election.Asked if INEC was considering postponing the election as a result of the insecurity in the state, he said the answer would come after the meeting.

HURIWA said speaking at the meeting, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, assured that the election will not be postponed just as INEC Chief recalled that during the ICCES last quarterly meeting on 9 September 2021, the committee received briefings and reviewed preparations for the election and that a major concern raised by members was the security situation in the state in particular; the adjoining states in general and how this might affect preparations and possibly the conduct of the election.

HURIWA quoted Professor Yakubu as saying thus: “Unfortunately, the situation has deteriorated markedly since our last meeting. Many innocent lives have been lost and property destroyed. From the reports we have received, the stated goal of many of the attackers is that the governorship election scheduled for 6 November 2021 must not hold.This is worrisome for the commission. We are deeply concerned that specific electoral facilities and materials could once more become targets of attack. Recall that in May this year, our State Office at Awka was attacked and all the non-sensitive materials assembled for the election at the time were destroyed.In addition, our store, collation centre and the main office building were either totally or substantially damaged. The Commission also lost several vehicles to be used for the election.

We appreciate the enormous challenges that the security agencies are presently facing in Anambra State, which entail not only securing the electoral process, but also enforcing law and order generally.

This is particularly worrisome because the security agencies have also become prime targets of these mindless attacks.

We will continue to work with the security agencies and in consultation with respected opinion leaders in Anambra State and the National Peace Committee to ensure that these hit-and-run attacks do not derail the electoral process.

To underscore this determination, the commission is implementing two more activities on the Timetable for the election in the next few days. The register of voters will be presented to political parties in Awka on Thursday 7 October 2021. On the same day, the commission will publish the final list of candidates for the election,” 

HURIWA is therefore appealing to the good people of Anambra State to give peace a chance and to actively participate in the November 6th election so as to make their choice of who would salvage their state from perennial underdevelopment and economic insecurity since the last failed 8 failed years of the locusts by the outgoing governor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).  HURIWA has appealed to the Federal Government to fish out the agents sent by some federal government officials to destabilise South East of Nigeria in order to demarket IPOB and put them at loggerheads with the over 60 million Igbo people Worldwide. 

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