Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Ahead of next Saturdayâ€™s gubernatorial election in Anambra State, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has warned that any attempt to rig, manipulate, falsify or impose results on the people of the state will be seriously resisted.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, who gave the warning while speaking with journalists in Enugu said though he has already made representations to President Muhammadu Buhari who assured him that the election would be free and fair, the organisation was not ready to leave anything to chance.
While describing as â€œnonsensical and ultra viresâ€ the withdrawal of security detail from Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willy Obiano, when other candidates in the election retained their security details, Nwodo said such action was a clear indication that a negative plan was in the offing.
He said the governor by the constitution, remained the Chief Security Officer of the state, wondering why the Inspector General of Police (IG) could endorse such an order.
â€œOn November 18, the people of Anambra State will go to the polls to elect their next governor. Ohanaeze notes with satisfaction the resolve of the people of the state and all the political parties in the state to turn out for the election. Not to do so would be a disservice to Anambra State and Ndigbo.
â€œOhanaeze Ndigbo is insistent that the votes of ndi Anambra must be respected in the Saturdayâ€™s election,â€ he said.
Nwodo further noted that the organisation applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be granted an observer status and accordingly had recruited lecturers from universities and polytechnics to help them in the exercise.
On calls for the boycott of the election by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nwodo such calls were made out of ignorance, and would culminate in an anarchy and declaration of a state of emergency if heeded.
â€œIt is not in their interest to say election should not hold. If they donâ€™t vote, there will be anarchy. By that call, they are indirectly playing into the hands of some people. What they donâ€™t realise is that in event of an emergency rule, the president is not restricted to appoint somebody from a particular place. He might decide to appoint somebody from Katsina who will remain as a Sole Administrator until such a time the president is convinced that the people are ready for election.
â€œThe vote and die threat is criminal, and I am advising them to retrace their steps. The best they could have done would have been to sponsor a candidate and mobilise the people to support their candidate but unfortunately, they are afraid to face the people,â€ he said.
He urged the Anambra electorate to ignore the threat by going out on Saturday to express their franchise.