By Joseph Albert (Umunna TV)
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has called on traditional rulers and presidents general in Anambra State to ensure strong security apparatus in their communities to ensure a hitch free exercise in the upcoming general elections in Anambra State
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Anambra State, Dr. Queen Elizabeth Agwu, who made the call in Awka at a stakeholders meeting with traditional rulers and presidents general from Anambra North Senatorial District of the state, expressed worry over increased attack on INEC facilities in some South East states, as well as other security threats to the upcoming election, warning that if not checked the situation will be disastrous for the state.
She reminded the community leaders of their critical roles as custodians of local authority, the reason they are being engaged by the commission, saying that community leaders should be held responsible if bandits overtake the election in their locality.
The INEC REC further frowned at the low turnout of the electorates in the state to pick up their PVCs in their various local government areas, and pleaded with the leaders to mount aggressive publicity and strategies to sensitize their people on the need to go and collect their PVCs.
She disclosed that Anambra has received an additional two hundred and ninety thousand unclaimed PVCs; aside the 132, 626 thousand previously distributed to the twenty-one council areas of the state for collection.
Speaking on the importance of the PVCs as the right of the electorate, and inherent danger of selling it, the INEC REC said the commission will on the 6th of January 2023 step down the collection process to ward levels, adding that the exercise will end on the 22nd of January 2023.
On his part, the Administrative Secretary of INEC, Anambra State, Mr. Jude Ugwuonu, urged the community leaders to see themselves as partners in the electoral process, and assured them that INEC will conduct free, fair, and credible election in Anambra State
Commending the proactiveness of the new INEC REC in engaging major stakeholders in the state for the success of the elections, the Chairman of Anambra North Traditional Rulers Council and traditional ruler of Umueri, Igwe Benneth Emeka, maintained that community leaders have been on their toes in ensuring adequate security and proper sensitization of people in their localities, and assured INEC of their continuous support.
On his part, the Chairman of the presidents general in Anambra North, Professor Charles Nwadigwe, said they have been involved in election matters in their various communities before now, and requested INEC to integrate the PGs in planning and mobilization process during the election period.
At the interactive session, some of the community leaders took turns to complain about challenges they are facing in their various communities, and called for speedy intervention.
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