Sunday, November 19, 2017 1:20 pm
Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Anambra may be described as one of the most secured, peaceful and free and fair election in the history of the state despite initial threats by some groups to disrupt the electoral process.
How was the feat achieved? Reports by PRNigeria indicated that the peaceful poll was as a result of effective security inter-agency collaboration spearheaded by the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General AB Abubakar. This led to arrest and detention of identified troublemakers, political thugs, including members of Indegenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
It can be recalled that IPOB members had particularly indicated their determination to cause mayhem during the polls with various statements and videos they released in the days leading up to it.
Another proactive security measures adopted was the strict blockage of borders of Anambra with Abia, Delta, Enugu and Imo States in checkmating movements of unauthorised individuals and groups into the state during the election.
A top security source told PRNigeria that Anambra State was effectively quarantined to ensure the success of the election stressing that the action is not to inflict injury on anybody but to protect the democracy of the country.
The source said: “The synergy and collaboration between and among major security agencies of neighbouring States of Abia, Delta, Enugu and Imo favourably affected the contour of the security situation in and around Anambra State especially in Asaba, Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi, Idemili and Ihiala.”
The engagement of Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Groups in voter education and peaceful advocacy were also attributed to the massive turn-out of voters.
Despite the threats from some outlawed IPOB members, political thugs, and other subversive elements, the election was adjudged by election observers as peaceful, orderly, free and fair and credible.
Another source said that “Generally, at the moment, feelers from the media world and the very few NGOs and Civil society group as well as the local observe teams I interacted with signified to the pacific nature/conduct of the election which also seemingly, free and fair as blatantly noticed in some polling situations.
“Instructively, the import, the lesson of this healthy development, is the gradual political consciousness and development of the affected people, most importantly, is the level of security arrangement and extensive synergy and collaboration between and among security agencies.”