Anambra Guber: INEC to Secure 6,000 Locations
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
For the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said over 6,000 locations would be protected for the exercise.
According to the commission, the deployment for the election will also involve the movement of huge consignments of sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the 21 Local Government Areas of the state, 326 Wards or Registration Areas, and 5,720 polling units.
The chairman of INEC, Mr Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Tuesday during an emergency meeting of the inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) held at the agency’s conference room in Abuja.
He disclosed that these measures will also include the deployment of 26,000 officials for the electoral exercise of which will mostly include members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and university students.
Recalling the attack on the agency’s state office in Awka, which led to the loss of lives and destroyed properties, including the damage of all the non-sensitive materials assembled for the election, Mr Yakubu said that the officials will need to be reassured of their personal safety for the forthcoming exercise.
“From the reports, we have received, the stated goal of many of the attackers is that the governorship election scheduled for 6th 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.
“Happily, we have almost fully recovered from that attack. The destroyed buildings have either been completely repaired or are nearing completion and we have fully replaced the materials destroyed.
“This rapid recovery has only been possible because this is an off-season election. We have sourced some of these materials such as the 326 electric generators and vehicles destroyed in the attack from neighbouring States. However, should we again lose vital materials and facilities, the ongoing preparations will be adversely affected,” the INEC boss said.
He thereafter reiterated the determination of the commission to proceed with the election as scheduled, adding that it is implementing two more activities on the Timetable for the election in the next few days.
According to Mr Yakubu, the register of voters will be presented to political parties in Awka on Thursday, October 7, 2021, the same day the final list of candidates for the election will be published.
“We are confident that at the end of this meeting, we will firm up on specific measures necessary to further guarantee the safety of all persons involved in the election from the voters, election officials, observers, media organizations, and the security of election materials,” he added.