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Anambra guber: GIFAD set to embark on voter education, sensitisation

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Worried by the spate of attacks that may likely create voter apathy in the Anambra State governorship election on November 6, a non-governmental organisation, Global Initiative for African Development (GIFAD), said it will embark on voter education and sensitisation.

The NGO which is a registered non-governmental, pan-African organization, said there was need to strengthen democracy, peace building and sustainable development in Africa, which Nigeria cannot be left behind.

As an accredited observer group, the NGO said it has has carried out pre-election survey in 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra State due to intensity of security breaches ahead of the November 6 elections in the State and lamented that some political elements have mischievously hijacked the State for selfish reasons.

Speaking at a world press conference on on Wednesday, Chairman of the group, Dr. Onwubuya Abraham Breakforth noted that GIFAD had earlier carried out a pre-election survey, disclosing that a two million votes would be at risk if there was no intervention to de-escalate insecurity in the State.

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He said: “Until recently, Anambra is a safe State like other States in the South East Nigeria. It is reputed to hold non-violent elections in the past, with about two million eligible voters. The recent security breach and unacceptable killings of civilians in the State seem as a result of the fallout of the activities of agitators on one hand, and the shenanigans of desperate and malicious politicians, who want to commandeer political power by all means, on the other hand.

Dr Breakforth stated that the insecurity which has culminated to frequent attacks have been claiming lives of security agents as well as gunmen with civilian casualties too.

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According to him, political parties are no longer campaigning due to insecurity which he insisted was a recipe for voter apathy.

He condemned continuous forceful Sit-at-home order, despite it’s suspension by the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), thereby creating fears among the citizens in the State

Apart from IPOB challenges and some misguided political actors, the group noted that activities of cultists have been on the rise and are being sponsored by politicians which they pointed out that Awka in the central, Onitsha/Nkpor in the north, Nnewi/Ihiala in the south have become flash points for clashes.

He added: “Many people are obeying the sit-at-home order out of fear, and which may translate to voter apathy”, stressing that the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) will introduce Bimodal Voter Accreditation System in Anambra.

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The group said lauded the Federal Government’s effort at deploying 34,500 personnel of the Police to ensure safety and nonviolent elections, adding that effort should be geared towards fishing out the gunmen, collaborators and their sponsors.

GIFAD believes that the Federal Government of Nigeria has what it takes to maintain peace in Anambra and the rest of the country without resorting to extreme measures that usually backfire.

They continued: “Brutal engagement of agitators in the past bred the general insecurity in the country, and it will not abate now if forceful resolution to conflicts is applied in the case of Anambra.

“Though it appeared IPOB cancelled the sit-at-home order, it appears hijacked by non-state actors bent on causing instability to scuttle November 6 elections.”

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