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CTA meets critical stakeholders in Anambra for peaceful, credible poll



By Michael Nnebife

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, and other critical stakeholders in Anambra State, have been called upon to work together to ensure that the state has a peaceful and credible gubernatorial election on November 6.

The Executive Director of Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), a nongovernmental oganisation, Faith Nwadishi, made the call during a stakeholders’ roundtable meeting organised by the organisation at Finotel Hotel, Awka, to dialogue with the critical stakeholders in the state for peaceful conduct of the November 6 gubernatorial election in the state.

Nwadishi appealed to the stakeholders to ensure that “all voices are heard, especially those of the vulnerable groups such as women, … people with disabilities, in the electoral process to engender better democratic practices which in turn will help the Electoral Umpire to fashion a credible pathway.” 

She expressed belief that “INEC will serve the interest of the people while building on its recent successes in the last off-season elections, especially in Edo and Ondo States governorship elections by the deployment of improved technology such as bi-modal voter accreditation system that replaced the smart card reader to achieve transparency in the electoral process; we, therefore, hope that these successes shall be replicated in Anambra State.”

The CTA boss, who explained that the Anambra gubernatorial election is a process of recruiting an officer that will manage the state’s resources, described the Anambra electorate as the chief executives of the state, urging them to ensure that they come out en masse, on the November 6, to decide whom will control the state’s affairs.

While arguing that candidates should engage in an issues-based campaign rather than heating up the polity and creating fears in the hearts of the people, who want to vote, the CTA chief also advised that citizens should shun vote buying and selling, which she said, will undermine the election; even as she appealed to the security agencies to assure the masses of adequate protection within the election period.

She further told the stakeholders that “the meeting offers them an opportunity to have a conversation, genuine interaction, examination of issues and the situation in relation to the Anambra governorship election.”

According to her, “the key outcome expected from this meeting is the commitment from stakeholders to ensure a peaceful, credible, free and fair election on November 6, 2021,” adding that CTA will deploy 64 observers to the 21 LGAs of the state and citizen observers to the poll units.”

Nwadishi appreciated the State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Anambra State Directorate, Charles Nwoji, for the agency’s support; the INEC, the security agencies, traditional and religious leaders, civil society organisations among other participants, who attended the roundtable discussion.

Presenting his goodwill message, the State Director, NOA, Anambra State Directorate, Nwoji, stated, for past three months, NOA in the state, has been engaging in mobilising and senstising the Anambra populace on the electoral process, and called on the stakeholders to take the message of peaceful election down to their subjects, urging them to be undeterred by the wave of security challenges in the nation and the call from some groups against the election, reminding them that such call has been in existence since 2007, and assured that the state will continue to overcome these challenges.     

In their separate remarks, the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, Echeng Echeng, represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ogbuanya;  the State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Anambra State, Everestus Obiyo, represented by his deputy, Peter Kazzah; other heads of the paramilitary agencies, including community and religious leaders as well as those of civil society groups present in the meeting, commended CTA, for oganising the all-important meeting and expressed their unalloyed support and readiness towards ensuring a credible election in the state on the November 6.  

Among other dignitaries present in the meeting are the State Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Services, Anambra State Command, A. D. Eche, represented by Supt. Ezeh Nnadozie; Anambra State Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps, Adeoye Irelewuyi, represented by the Assistant Commander, J. C. Nwokolo; the Chairman, Anambra State Vigilante Group, Chief Ikechukwu Adiuba, represented by Samuel Chukwuemeka;  the Administrative Secretary, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, Prince Orjika Donatus, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The cross section of the participants in the meeting

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