Vigilante Groups Demobilized Ahead Anambra Council Polls

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The vigilante groups operating in the 177 communities of Anambra state
may be dismantled ahead of the local government election billed for
Saturday, Jan 11.

The Chief Electoral Officer and acting chairman of the Anambra State
Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) Sylvester Okonkwo disclosed
this to journalists in Awka yesterday.

The commission’s boss stated that the move was to avoid situations
where desperate politicians resort to using them to prosecute the
local government election at their various local communities where the
vigilante boys are known to be strong and feared.

He disclosed that the commission has already applied for a combined
security agents that would involve the army, police, SSS, NSCDC,
Prisons and Immigration personnel to ensure a smooth election. He also
pointed out that movement across the state would be restricted between
12midnight on Friday, January 10 to 4pm Saturday, January 11, 2014.

Accreditation and voting, according to him would start simultaneously
by 8am on the Election Day, Saturday. This, he stated was aimed at
encouraging the elderly ones who may not have the strength and stamina
to go through the rigours of going for accreditation first after which
they return later for voting after some hours.

Okonkwo said that his commission has been fully mobilised to conduct a
free, fair and credible election that would be the pride of Anambra
state and debunked the allegation, especially by the Labour Party that
the results of the election would be doctored to suit the ruling party
APGA in the state.

He appealed for a large turnout of voters for because, in his view
local government election is like a neighbourhood race where all the
contenders are always well known around.
He noted with excitement that his commission has gotten a clean copy
of the voters’ register from INEC which he said would assist greatly
even as he revealed that those that have lost their voters card would
be allowed to vote once they can remember their correct number on the
register, this, he said is majorly applicable to the victims of the
flood disasters that happened in 2011.


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