The Anambra governorship election is being concluded today as supplementary election holds at Ihiala local government area. Notably, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had suspended the declaration of the Anambra Governorship Election results until after today’s supplementary election at Ihiala, where election did not hold on Saturday last week.
The Returning Officer for the Anambra Governorship election, Professor Florence Obi, had said that there was need for the election to hold in Ihiala so that the people would not be denied their civic rights and to give room for the winner to be declared successfully.
The public, particularly residents and voters in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state are, therefore urged to come out en mass today to exercise their franchise without fear of molestation, victimization or intimidation. No doubt, government and INEC, working with relevant security agencies, have assured Ndi Ihiala that adequate security arrangements have been made to protect life and property during the election.
Thus, all are encouraged to come out and vote for the candidate of their choice. Elections were successfully and peacefully held in the other 20 local government areas of Anambra state and INEC had duly announced the results. No incidence of violence or voter molestation was recorded in the Anambra gubernatorial election, held on Saturday, November 6, 2021.
Furthermore, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had previously cancelled the sit-at-home order earlier announced and encouraged Ndi Anambra to come out and vote. Hence, Ndi Ihiala and residents in the area should have no reason for apathy in today’s election.
The supplementary election is also very important. Therefore, those involved in the election are called upon to play according to the rules of the game. Let’s shun any negative tendency that might mar the election. There should be no hate speech, deprivation, and attempt to rig the election. There should not be greed or selfishness that might lead to violence. No doubt, Ndi Ihiala are known for their peaceful disposition, honesty, resilience, exemplary conduct and unity of strength. They are not usually pushovers. Complying with electoral laws and coming out to exercise their franchise today is an opportunity for them. Thank God there is adequate security everywhere.
Hooligans and miscreants should dare not tempt the combat readiness and eagle eyes of the security operatives. Just be law abiding, not an escape goat. Voters must be at the polling station early to present themselves for accreditation before voting. They should ensure they thumb print properly and correctly in the box provided in order not to invalidate their vote.
A vote can be invalidated or made void if a voter writes his or her name in the box provided for voting or fails to thumb print at all. If a voter thumb prints in two boxes for two political parties or decides to thumb-print in-between the boxes provided for each political party, the vote will be considered void.
Voters are strongly advised to avoid costly mistakes, if they want their votes to count. Women should reduce their make-up, if possible, avoid them until after voting so that the Bimodal Voter Authentication System machine could capture them easily.
INEC, on its part, should ensure that all the hiccups and other technical challenges experienced last Saturday do not repeat in today’s supplementary election; once beaten, twice shy.
Ndi Ihiala must shun all the stipulated electoral offences, including improper voter card, impersonation, voting when not qualified and dereliction of duty by poll officials. Others are disrupting election process, vote buying, canvassing for votes at the polling stations and snatching or destroying election materials. These offences have various penalties such as fine and prison terms attached to them.
Since Ihiala is a neigbouring town to other states, security agencies should monitor closely to avoid infiltration of foreign bodies into the election
The supplementary election at Ihiala is very vital to enthrone credible leadership. Apathy cannot pay. No one should be blamed if you fail to go out to choose your leader. Today’s election is the opportunity of Ndi Ihiala to propel the state to growth and development. Ndi Ihiala, do not shirk in your civic responsibility. Stand up to be counted among those who love their state and want its progress by electing a credible governor today. Join the Anambra spirit now to raise the banner.
WRITTEN BY CHIEF JUDE EMECHETA