As INEC, police pledge readiness for election
From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano yesterday raised the alarm that his life was in danger following the sudden withdrawal of his security details by the police.
Obiano who stormed out of the election stakeholders meeting at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Development Centre, Awka after raising the alarm had waited for hours before the arrival of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The governor said the development was unacceptable and a dangerous signal of what would happen ahead of the governorship election and demanded the immediate return of his security details to avoid overheating of the polity.
He said: “I want my security details returned immediately because I am going to start a fight from there. I am the sitting governor of Anambra state and all the paraphernalia of my office must be there.
“This is unacceptable and a sign of what will happen. Those behind this would be disappointed because we are very ready for the election.
“My life is in danger; this morning they withdrew my senior police aides, that is what I am saying and it is unacceptable. We will fight this we are not going to allow that to go. I don’t need any replacement, I want to work with the people I have worked with.”
The governor had earlier complained of not being accorded recognition by the moderator of the event when he walked in and said he had wanted to speak with the Inspector General of police who was scheduled to be at the meeting but had to voice out as the IG was not around and he was not aware when he would arrive.
Reacting to the governor’s outburst, the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the event was a stakeholders’ meeting, and as such no candidate would be accorded any special treatment regardless of his position.
He said the commission insists on equal treatment of all candidates in the election and should not only have equal standing, but must be respected.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who eventually arrived the meeting when almost all the candidates and majority of the stakeholders had left, explained that the withdrawal of the governor’s ADC and policemen attached to politicians was a routine exercise the Police carries out during elections and was not in any way done to witch hunt the governor.
The IG said he decided to withdraw the policemen attached to politicians because of previous experiences where such cops worked for their masters to truncate the electoral process.
He said the police have deployed 21, 000 officers that would complement the 5,000 in the state, 303 patrol vehicles, three helicopters, one for each of the three zones, 15 gunboats , Armored personnel carrier, Deputy Inspector General, Operations; two AIGs, three Commissioners of Police and some Deputy and Assistant Commissioners for the election.
IG Idris also disclosed that Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Garba Umar, had been asked to step down for neutrality and another officer who has no affinity with the state would take his place.
Earlier on, the INEC Chairman said that the election was unique because it would be the first in the history of Nigeria where a large number of candidates, 37 of them would be contesting for one governorship position, just as it would be the first governorship election that would be combined with election for state House of Assembly where eight political parties would be contesting.
Chidoka campaign alleges threat against civil servants
By Chinelo Obogo
The Osita Chidoka Campaign Organization has alleged that it has documented evidence that indicates that some persons within the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) threatened civil servants to vote for it or face victimisation.
In a statement signed by the campaign’s Media Director, Viola Okolie, she described the alleged plan as a desperate ploy by the administration to hold onto power.
“The Osita Chidoka campaign is privy, with documented evidence, of threats by elements within the administration to teachers and other civil servants in the state to vote for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) or face victimization. This is an act of extreme desperation of a drowning leader cast to hang onto power even when it is obvious that the time is up.
“While we know that the APGA administration has been in morbid fear of the popularity and overwhelming support of our candidate, Chief Osita Chidoka and our great party, the United Progressive Party (UPP), it is however, to say the least, despicable that in their nervousness they are seeking to drag down innocent civil servants for rejecting them.
“In this regard, our campaign organization has assembled a team of lawyers to take up pro bono, any act of harassment, suspension, unwarranted transfer, query, delayed salaries, denial of promotion or any unjustified action against any civil servant before, during and after the elections.
“We are already working with senior labour leaders in the state to ensure that all workers at all levels are covered and protected. We have the list of all workers and their designations and we are set to resist, with full force, and to any length, any infraction against any of them,” the statement read.
Nwoye receives APGA defectors
By Chinelo Obogo
Many members of the All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Aguata Local Government Area led by Chief Ezenduka Malachi, and Chief Obi Okpalauchegbu were recently received into the APC by Nwoye. Nwoye was represented by the leader of APC in Anambra South-Senatorial zone, Chief Barth Nwibe as he welcomed the defectors while appealing to party members in the Local Government to ensure APC is voted into power. He then thanked Onwa Achina, Chief Modestus Umenzekwe and Achina community for endorsing Nwoye.
While addressing the party supporters, Umenzekwe who hosted the event, reassured the party leadership that Achina and all the communities in Aguata would mobilize voters for Nwoye.
Umenzekwe who said he became enthusiastic of President Muhammadu Buhari because of Zik’s son , Late Chief Chuma Azikiwe’s friendship with the president, thanked Buhari for giving support to the agricultural policies of various states in Nigeria towards eliminating hunger. He pointed out that before Chuma’s demise, he celebrated Buhari’s 2015 victory in Achina with him and hundreds of others.
He appealed to the President to ensure that during his visit to the state, to commit to the renovation of Zik’s Mausoleum.
ADC endorses Obaze
From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
African Democratic Congress (ADC) has endorsed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Oseloka Obaze.
The National Chairman of the party, Chief Okey Nwosu in a statement said ADC is convinced that Obaze is the best of all the candidates participating in the poll.
Consequently, he urged members and supporters of ADC in the State to work and vote for Obaze in the governorship poll.
“Obaze’s strategic compass of ethical governance and financial discipline; Infrastructural development tied to boosting entrepreneurship, education, building a modern and inspirational capital city, and mosaic of theme parks, are in consonance with the vision of the ADC.
“With 26 percent of the state budget channeled into education, our youths will certainly be empowered to take the global stage. This is a cardinal agenda of ADC and we are happy to associate with leaders who are so driven,” Nwosu said.
The ADC leader admonished members of the PDP, who he said were hobnobbing with the state governor, Willie Obiano, to have a rethink.
He said the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has over lived its usefulness, urging voters to reject the party.
According to him, “At this time, Anambra should have its focus on the national and global stage, and not on a debilitating mercantile politics.”
In a related development, Obaze restated his total commitment to peaceful elections, saying that the forthcoming election is not a do-or-die affair.
Speaking at the headquarters of his campaign organisation in Awka, Obaze said the whole society will suffer if democratic processes are allowed to degenerate into violence.
“I need your votes so that we can embark on the process of rebuilding Anambra state. Anambra state deserves better. Presently, it is badly broken, we need to fix it. I ask you to go and cast your votes for PDP. While you do that, I ask you also to do so peacefully. No hate speeches, no mud slinging, and no violence. It does not augur well for us to engage in any form of violence. Democracy is a peaceful process, not a do or die affair. On November 18, go out there and cast your votes for me and do so peacefully”, Obaze said.
Northern youths canvass support for Ezeemo
From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Some Northern youths living in Anambra have assured the Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA) governorship candidate, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo of their votes in the election.
Mr. Habib Usman, the Anambra Northern Youth leader made the announcement at the weekend in a meeting organized by the group in support of Ezeemo in Awka .
Usman desccribed Ezeemo as an industrialist who has brought development to the state which they have immensely benefited from.
He described Ezeemo as an honest and generous man with a large heart who has genuine plans for the indigenes and non-indigenes of the state.
“Ezeemo is a man of integrity whose ideology we strongly believe in. This is a man who has several investments abroad but decided to bring them down to his state to assist in its development”, Usman said.
This man has engaged not less than 2000 youths in the state irrespective of their geographical location. He has the interest of the youths at heart and if he becomes governor, he would do more for them,” Usman said.